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27 June 2004
Silbury Hill reclassified

The guardians of Silbury Hill, a prehistoric man-made mound in Wiltshire (England) succeeded in their attempt to have it reclassified as a building rather than open countryside. Silbury Hill is the largest neolithic construction of its type in Europe, according to English Heritage.
     Lord Avebury, who owns the freehold of the land, said of its reclassification: "The map will not show Silbury Hill as open countryside and give the wrong message to people who might be inclined to trespass and cause damage to it. In the year 2000 there was severe damage to the hill, due to bad weather and people wandering all over the summit."
     English Heritage supported Lord Avebury's appeal against the Countryside Agency's original classification of the land, which was made to the planning inspectorate last month. An inspector's report showed that, despite the fact that the piece of land bore the characteristics of downland, it was "too small to be considered as forming a chalk or limestone landscape in its own right". The surrounding land is agricultural, and therefore not classified as open countryside which walkers may have access to under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Source: The Guardian (26 June 2004)

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