The South Dorset Ridgeway contains over 600 Bronze Age Round Barrows. These are funerary monuments created 6000 years ago. They adorn the crest of the ridgeway and were deliberately placed where they would be visible to people in the valleys.
There are several easy to spot clusters on the South Dorset Ridgeway, those on Bronkham Hill, the Bincombe Bumps and the Poor Lot are all well known. There are however many more barrows that cannot be seen as well, or in fact, at all. Many have been damaged by the plough, animals, and trees.
We want to preserve barrows that do survive and to preserve them for future generations. They are a significant contributor to the landscape but many are in a poor state of repair. The South Dorset Ridgeway wishes to change this. We have been working with volunteers to assess the condition of the barrows. So far this is what we have managed to cover. The red dots are those we still have to visit.
The second phase of the project is to see how we can improve the conditions. For some this involves working with landowners to encourage better farming practices. For others volunteers work en masse to remove scrub and tree growth. This has the added benefit of discouraging rabbits and badgers who do their own damage to the monuments. We’ve cleared 6 monuments so far but have big ambitions for the winter months.
If you wish to help out with surveying the monuments or with managing them please contact me here. For more information also visit www.dorsetaonb.org.uk/south-dorset-ridgeway-partnership