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ENGLAND'S MONUMENTS DISAPPEARING RAPIDLY

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A new report by English Heritage estimates that 22,000 ancient monuments in England have been destroyed - mainly by...
A new report by English Heritage estimates that 22,000 ancient monuments in England have been destroyed - mainly by road-building, development and agriculture - since 1945.

The Guardian (p11) reports that the English Heritage Monuments at Risk Surveey (Mars), published yesterday took five years to complete and estimates that 4,500 monuments are at high risk over the next five years, and 65,000 are at some risk, out of an estimated 300,000.

Archaeological sites on agricultural land are being lost at the equivalent of 10 football pitches a day and the situation is even bleaker when the partial destruction of monuments and the condition of surviving monuments is considered.

The report was the first attempt to determine the national state of archaeological sites at a time of growing crisis for local archaeology services. Local authorities facing cuts are slashing archaeology budgets and senior staff are being made redundant in many areas.

Since 1990 government planning guidelines have required archaeology to be considered on planning applications, so almost all field archaeology is rescue archaeology paid for by developers.
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