| 2 February 2018
Hill fort brambles to be removed for the first time since 1824
Worlebury Hill Fort, an Iron Age site beside the Severn Estuary near Weston-super-Mare, 200 kilometres west of London, suffered from vandalism and was classified as being 'at risk' by Historic England at the end of 2016. North Somerset Council has received a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for surveys to determine what preservation work needs to be done. Meanwhile some important work is being carried out by volunteers.
Worlebury Hill Fort Group Chairman William Fraher says: "There are 4,000 or so hill forts in Britain but this period in our pre-history is substantially undervalued. We have made a great deal of progress but we do not underestimate the great deal of work which remains. We intend the glade should be cleared of undergrowth - mainly brambles - which have stopped appreciation in summer of the important archaeological features."
The group hopes the council will apply for a £200,000 grant later in the year and create a new management plan to ensure the fort is looked after.
The site was first described by the Reverend A Catcott in 1758, but major excavations were not carried out until the 1800s.
Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, whose ward includes the hill fort, says: "There's tremendous visitor potential at this site, but we don't have even the most rudimentary display panels telling its story. Hopefully the work of the civic society and Hill Fort Group along with renewed council interest and Historic England support will lead to the full revelation of this ancient Weston gem."
Councillor Peter Bryant, executive member responsible for parks and green spaces thanked the Hill Fort Group for its hard work: "We are keen to build on this community involvement and, working with local interest groups, volunteers and local schools, aim to improve understanding and enjoyment of the hill fort by developing better access, signage and interpretation. We want to take the site off the at risk register by implementing a long term plan which will involve the local community in managing the site and safeguarding the future of this outstanding monument."
Edited from Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury (16 January 2018)
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