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16 October 2005
Project to help Dorset people love ancient barrows

A new project aims to increase people's awareness, knowledge and appreciation of the landscape between Weymouth and Dorchester (Dorset, England). It is being launched on November 5 by the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team which hopes the project will appeal to everyone who enjoys the countryside. Among outstanding features of the area are the strange 'lumps and bumps' which litter the skyline between Broadmayne and Hardy's Monument - and which few realise are round barrows that have been there 4,000 years.
     Some long barrows go back as far as 5,000 years, which experts say is an extraordinary survival feat considering their simple construction from native chalk with soil on top. There are some fine round barrows examples to see while walking the inland South West Coast Path route from Came Down, over Ridgeway Hill and on towards Gould's Hill and Hardy's Monument. The AONB said its project had been designed to encourage local people to get out on foot and explore the area and to get them more involved with it.
     The team hopes to achieve this with a Lumps and Bumps photographic competition, entries for which will be displayed at the county library in April 2006 and there will also be a watercolours and oils competition.
     The AONB added that there was even a chance that a few volunteers might be able to help English Heritage surveyors re-survey ancient earthworks. A new booklet is being released at the project's launch, and there will be a free awareness morning at Portesham Village Hall with guest speakers including archaeologist Dr Bill Putnam and reconstruction artist Jane Brayne. A second awareness day is scheduled for Dorset County Museum on November 26. For project details call 01305 756785 or see the website

Source: This is Weymouth and Dorchester (14 October 2005)

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