A303 to go underground – bring on the aurochs!

By Colin21958 – via wikimedia commons

Today, the day after a proposal to ‘re-wild’ the landscape around Stonehenge was posted on this blog, the government finally announces its plan to place the A303 at Stonehenge in a tunnel.

This announcement – if followed through – greatly increases the scope for large-scale habitat creation – and megafauna re-introductions – at the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. Removing the A303 from the Stonehenge landscape will open up a large area south of the stone circle, resulting in a much larger unified landscape across which wild grazers could roam.
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5 Comments

  1. Kevin Rush says:

    We could call it 'Neolithic Park', curated by Sir David Attenborough instead of his brother!

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    • Jonathan Wallace says:

      Hmmm - the very name might trigger moral panic at the Daily Mail! I can imagine lurid articles about wild beasts rampaging across the landscape, devouring children and terrorising the citizens of middle England!

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  2. Gwil Wren says:

    Interesting! I was first involved in the Stonehenge tunnel vision in 1994. Having been accepted at a Planning Conference a couple of years later the plan was scuppered by archaeologists who did not want the archaeology disturbed so insisted on a deep bore tunnel. This increased costs about three fold and was very challenging from an engineering point of view not least the angle of entry from the east. Then they discovered the water table at 90' and with costs rising it was shelved in the mid 2000s.
    The tunnel was recognised way back in the 1990s as being key to opening up the landscape and this was the vision of Sir Jocelyn Stevens who wanted to remove all trace of the 20th century and return Stonehenge to its original setting with chalk downland etc. We at EN enthusiastically bought into this not least because this one site could have delivered the entire UK chalk downland restoration BAP target on one site. It also opened the possibility of a wildlife corridor stretching from the Avon at Amesbury to the Wylye using NT land, the NNR at Parsonage Down and the SSSI at Yernbury Castle. With Salisbury Plain to the north and the rivers to the east and west something spectacular could be done. The tunnel could be the catalyst for a truly landscape scale project.
    However a word of caution. This this project has found the long grass more often than a first time golfer so if it is to succeed it needs a cross interest alliance to agree and drive it forward Highways England, NE, NT, EH, local people, local landowners, the MP, Councils and the Government.

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  3. Random22 says:

    I'm sure I've heard this announced before. It is going to be very expensive and I'm not sure how it directly benefits London or the Tory party, so I doubt it will actually come to anything. Big and expensive only happens in this country if it benefits Nodnol and the Tories.

    A tunnel is needed, don't get me wrong, well technically the removal of all roads from that area is needed but that isn't going to be realistic. A tunnel is probably the best of all the realistic options.

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