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11 April 2012
Iron Age hillfort in Wiltshire to undergo major repairs

Major repairs are to begin on a 2,000-year-old Iron Age hill fort in Wiltshire (England), damaged by off-road biking. Roddenbury Hillfort, on the Longleat Estate near Warminster, has been 'significantly damaged' by mountain bikers digging bike trails and jumps.
     Repairs, including filling in holes and levelling jumps, are to be carried out this year under supervision by the Longleat Estate and English Heritage. Mark Harrison, from English Heritage, said it was a 'serious issue'. "Wheeled traffic, whether bikes or off-road vehicles, can quickly erode historic earthworks and the creation of bike jumps, as in this case, can cause very substantial harm to irreplaceable heritage sites," he said. "I'm sure the vast majority of off-road cyclists would be appalled to realise that their activities may have damaged an important archaeological site."
     Over the past few years, two large and up to six smaller jumps have been dug into the Scheduled Monument, a criminal offence under the British Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. After a site visit by English Heritage staff last summer, the damage was reported to Avon and Somerset Police.

Edited from BBC News (26 March 2012)

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