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20 August 2004
Restoration of an Iron Age fort in Britain

A 2,500-year-old Iron Age fort is to be reclaimed from nature, thanks to a share of a 1.4 million lottery award. The 32-acre Uley Bury with its steep slopes on all four sides, was a perfect natural fortress for the Celts until a few hundred years BCE.  Nowadays people out walking at the spot, at the top of Crawley Hill between Uley and Nympsfield (Gloucestershire, England), might enjoy the countryside without fully realising its ancient history. But that is all set to change with a new plan for a sustainable future for Uley Bury and later the possibility of interpretation boards for the public to read.
     Scheme leader is Jenny Phelps, from the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Project, which has allocated some of its 1.4m Caring for the Cotswolds lottery grant to the bury. "It will be a national example. Fifteen different organisations are working with the local community," said Ms Phelps. "The project identified four different things to spend the money on." Those included limestone grasslands, exactly like Uley Bury, and raising awareness.
     Working parties at the bury are already removing fencing, erecting new fences and gates and providing water for the cattle which will be introduced shortly to graze the grassland, and in turn encourage wild flowers, butterflies and other insects. Coun Janet Wood, who chairs the Cam Dursley Uley Joint Woodland Management Committee, said visitors might be concerned to see large holes being dug around gatepost holes. "These are the basis of an archaeological search and survey of the historic monument and will be covered in afterwards. The scheme is designed to ensure a sustainable future for the bury including protection of flora, the opening up of views and the enhancement of the fort's ramparts," she said.

Source: This is Gloucestershire, The Citizen (19 August 2004)

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