Partnership Working in the World Heritage Site
Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site is looked after and managed through a partnership of national organisations, the local authority, amenity groups, landowners, farmers and residents of the World Heritage Site. Our partners include English Heritage, Historic England, the National Trust, Wiltshire Council and Natural England.
Management Plan: A Framework for Partnership Working
Partnership is a central to the way the World Heritage Site is managed. The Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites Management Plan 2015 provides a framework for our partners and partnership working within the Site. The Plan was developed through discussion and consultation with our partners and the wider public. Partners then work together to implement the Management Plan’s Action Plan.
The Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Coordination Unit is based at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham and coordinates the work of partners to achieve the objectives of the Management Plan.
Both Stonehenge and Avebury have Steering Committees made up of representatives of the World Heritage Site partners that meet two or three times a year. In addition a Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site Partnership Panel maintains an overview of the whole site.
Find out more about our partners below:
Historic England is the government’s adviser on the historic environment. The organisation was renamed after the restructuring of English Heritage to form English Heritage Trust a charity responsible for managing the national collection of historic properties in the care of the state and Historic England.
We are the public body that looks after England’s historic environment.
We do this by:
- Championing historic places
- Identifying and protecting our heritage
- Supporting change
- Understanding historic places and
- Providing expertise at a local level
English Heritage Trust was formed on 1 April 2015. English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of the empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.
In the Stonehenge and Avebury WHS we are responsible for the ten properties in the National Collection. Namely Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Durrington Walls, Avebury Henge, West Kennett Long Barrow , West Kennett Avenue, Silbury Hill, the Sanctuary, Windmill Hill and Alexander Keiller Museum. In Avebury English Heritage works closely with the National Trust who manages these properties on behalf of English Heritage.
Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone.
Our remit is to ensure sustainable stewardship of the land and sea so that people and nature can thrive. It is our responsibility to see that England’s rich natural environment can adapt and survive intact for future generations to enjoy.
In Stonehenge & Avebury we work closely with landowners and farmers to protect the archaeological sites and monuments, enhance their setting and encourage biodiversity through environmental stewardship schemes.
Wiltshire Council is a Unitary Authority responsible for local government in the County of Wiltshire.
Wiltshire Council host the WHS Coordination Unit and work closely with partners across both parts of the WHS in a number of areas including Highways, Rights of Way, Environment and Planning. Both elected members and Council Officers attend local steering committees.
We are a charity and completely independent of Government. We rely for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from our commercial operations. We have over 3.7 million members and 61,000 volunteers. We protect and open to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments. We also look after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, and villages – for ever, for everyone.
In the Stonehenge & Avebury WHS the National Trust is a major landowner with approximately one third of the WHS. The National Trust works closely with English Heritage to manage the ten sites in State Guardianship and at Stonehenge has been involved closely with the Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project to provide new visitor facilities and an improved visitor experience.
VisitWiltshire Ltd was established in August 2011 and is the official Tourist Board for Wiltshire, covering the whole of the county including Swindon. It is a private sector membership organisation representing over 450 members covering the entire spectrum of tourism businesses, including accommodation providers, attractions, arts and entertainment, sports and leisure, shops, pubs and restaurants. VisitWiltshire’s priority is to grow the county’s Visitor Economy by raising awareness of the destination and generating additional tourism visits and spend. Wiltshire’s Visitor Economy currently generates over £1billion and supports over 20,000 jobs.
The Wiltshire Museum, Library and Gallery were set up and are administered by the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Society (WANHS), founded in Devizes in 1853,
The Museum and Library have been at their current location in Long Street since 1873, occupying first the old Victorian Devizes Grammar School, then the two Georgian houses on either side of the Entrance Hall. Further extensions have increased its size to the present day. It has overseen many of the famous excavations on Salisbury Plain and the Marlborough Downs..
Its collecting area once covered the whole of the county, although this is now shared with neighbouring museums like the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury. Today the Museum is still collecting, and provides a valuable service in identifying and recording artefacts recovered both professionally and by members of the public interested in the increasingly popular subject of archaeology.
The Wiltshire Museum houses collections from both parts of the WHS and is represented on both local steering committees. A new prehistoric gallery opened in the autumn of 2013 with its “Gold from the time of Stonehenge” exhibtion.
Salisbury Museum was founded by Dr Richard Fowler in 1860. The main strength of the Museum rests in its archaeological collections: these include prehistoric material from South Wiltshire, including Stonehenge; the Pitt Rivers’ Wessex collection; and a fine medieval collection including finds from Old Sarum, Clarendon Palace and the city itself. In addition we have fascinating displays of costume and ceramics, and regular temporary exhibitions.
Salisbury Museum works closely with English Heritage and the Wiltshire Museum to present a full and varied history of Stonehenge and opened its Wessex Gallery in 2014 which includes an impressive collection of Neolithic and Bronze Age finds including some from the Stonehenge WHS.
Amesbury Town Council
Amesbury is situated 8 miles north of Salisbury, with Salisbury Plain further to the north. The town is surrounded by an ancient landscape. The parish boundary of Amesbury encompasses the ancient, Neolithic site of Stonehenge – a World Heritage Site which attracts over a million visitors a year.
Amesbury Town Council is represented on the Stonehenge WHS Steering Committee.
Avebury Parish Council
The Parish Council is the level of local Government nearest to the people of Avebury Parish. This covers the following areas: Avebury village, Avebury Trusloe, Beckhampton and West Kennett.
Avebury Parish Council is represented on the Avebury WHS Steering Committee.
The Avebury Society was founded in 1994 to work for the benefit of the area five kilometres around Avebury including the whole of the World Heritage Site. As a Civic Society it speaks for its members on matters that affect Avebury and the surrounding villages, including planning and visitor management matters, while also staging lectures, visits, walks and social events for its membership. The Society appoints representatives to various WHS management committees and is affiliated to the Council for British Archaeology.
Avebury and Stonehenge Archaeological and Historical Research Group (ASAHRG)
The Avebury and Stonehenge Archaeological and Historical Research Group (ASAHRG) held its first meeting in February 2014. The group emerged from the Avebury Archaeological and Historical Research Group. ASAHRG is made up of people involved in archaeological and historical research in the Stonehenge and Avebury WHS and surrounding area. It is a group of professional curators, academics and freelance researchers who meet to knowledge exchange, encouraging, coordinating and disseminating research in the WHS.
Meetings are held around 3 times a year and consist of updates on recent research and the work of the WHS.
ASAHRG played an important role in developing the Stonehenge and Avebury Archaeological Research Framework published in Spring 2016.
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) was formed on 1 April 2011. It replaces the former Defence Estates and brings together property and infrastructure functions from across the Ministry of Defence. DIO manages the MOD’s property infrastructure and ensures strategic management of the defence estate as a whole, optimising investment and providing the best support possible to the military.
DIO is represented on the Stonehenge WHS Committee and is particularly involved in archaeological and land management issues.
Durrington Town Council
Durrington Town council is responsible for the communities of Durrington and Larkhill in the Stonehenge WHS.
Kennet Valley Parish Council represents the communities of Fyfield, West Overton and Lockeridge to the west of the Avebury WHS.
It is represented on the Avebury WHS Steering Committee.
National Highways is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Transport and is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport.
The NFU champions British farming and provides professional representation and services to its Farmer and Grower members.
Farmers play an important role in preserving the historic environment and representatives of local farmers are active on both local steering committees.
The North Wessex Downs AONB is located in the south of England, in an area covering 668 sq miles between Reading and Swindon to the East and North, and Andover and Devizes to the South and East. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)s are some of Britain’s finest countryside, with landscapes of particularly distinctive character, remarkable natural beauty and high ecological value. They are protected by law to ensure the conservation and enhancement of their natural beauty, not just for the present, but also for future generations.
AONBs have their origins in the postwar movement to protect the countryside and were given protective designation under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 to conserve and enhance their natural beauty. More recently, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 consolidated and strengthened legislation concerning AONBs, giving them a more secure status
Avebury WHS sits entirely within the North Wessex Downs AONB and both organisations work together to protect the landscape of Avebury and the surrounding area. The AONB is a member of the Avebury WHS Steering Committee.
The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. We are the largest conservation organisation in Europe with over one million members. Our work is focused on the species and habitat that are in greatest danger.
The RSPB manages a nature reserve in the Stonehenge WHS and works closely with other partners such as the National Trust on issues related to the natural environment and the chalk grassland of the Salisbury Plain.
Shrewton Parish Council
The village of Shrewton is located 3.5 miles north-west of Stonehenge, midway between Salisbury and Devizes.
A representative from Shrewton Parish Council sits on the Stonehenge Steering Committee.
Wilsford cum Lake Parish Council
Wilsford cum Lake Parish represents the people living in Wilsford and Lake in the beautiful Woodford valley formed by the River Avon in the southern half of the Stonehenge WHS.
Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council
Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council represents the people of Winterbourne Monkton to the north of Avebury WHS. Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council is represented on the Avebury WHS Steering Committee.
Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council
Winterbourne Stoke is a village and civil parish about 3 miles west of the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge.
A representative from Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council sits on the Stonehenge Steering Committee.