We kicked off the process of reviewing the Stonehenge WHS Management Plan with a successful Stakeholder Workshop on Monday 23 September in Amesbury. Around 30 people attended, all of whom have an interest in the World Heritage Site and how it is managed. We had participants from Amesbury Town Council, Durrington Town Council, Chitterne Parish Council and the Amesbury Community Area Board to represent the interest of local residents as well as representatives from organisations such as Natural England, National Trust, RSPB, English Heritage, Highways Agency and Wiltshire Council who are all involved in the management of the WHS. The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, the Wiltshire Museum, local farmers and representatives of the pagan and druid community also attended. The workshop covered presentations on the international context and the achievements since 2009 when the last Management Plan was published. Then the participants broke up into smaller groups to discuss issues, challenges and opportunities for the next 6 years for a number of themes such as the conservation of the historic and natural environment of the WHS, archaeology and research, traffic and transport, visitor management and community participation. It was great to see some new faces as well as many old friends. The workshop can be summed up by some feedback we received from Cllr John Mills from Durrington Town Council who attended the Stakeholder Workshop who said “I thought that the Workshop was superbly well organised and presented, and I learned a huge amount despite having lived here for fifteen years!”
The next step is for small professional focus groups to look at the issues in more detail to start working on aims, aspirations and an action plan for the Stonehenge part of the joint Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan which should be published at the end of 2014. There are further opportunities to be involved by dropping into the public drop-in consultation sessions in the local area taking place in late October. At a draft document will be available for public consultation some time in 2014. Updates on this will be posted on this website. If you want to find out more please contact Beth Thomas.