What does the landscape surrounding Stonehenge mean to you?

The Cursus Barrows in the Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire. (c)National Trust Images/John Miller

The National Trust Wiltshire Landscape team are undertaking a survey to learn what people find special about the landscape in which the world famous stone circle sits.

This is part of a national plan to assess the qualities that visitors find important about the special places the National Trust care for. This will help them to understand people’s personal relationships with those places and ensure that they look after them in a way that safeguards that connection for the future.

Stonehenge Landscape (c)National Trust/John Miller

Hilary Makins, National Trust Countryside Manager, whose team look after the landscape around Stonehenge, explains more about it.

‘We want to understand how people feel about the landscape around Stonehenge. Not Stonehenge itself, which is managed by English Heritage, but the rest of the landscape surrounding the monument.  We want to know what makes it special to you – how does it make you feel when you visit?’

The Stonehenge stone circle sits in the middle of an outstanding and complex prehistoric landscape dating back as far as 5,000 years ago. The Stonehenge part of the World Heritage Site embraces 26 square kilometres of land, and includes features such as the Cursus, the Avenue, Woodhenge, Durrington Walls and many Bronze Age round barrows.  In addition to the archaeology, its open chalk grassland is a haven for many species of birds, insects and larger animals.

Stonehenge Landscape, King Barrow Ridge (c)National Trust Images/John Miller

Visitor Experience Officer, Catherine Broadbent says, ‘Almost everyone is familiar with the iconic monument of Stonehenge, but less people are aware of the huge panoramic landscape around it and the archaeology it contains. I often bump into people exploring this part of the World Heritage Site and they are keen to tell me about how wonderful this place is – the sense of being part of history, the tranquillity away from the stones, the wildlife we have here, all these things are special.  But the one thing that strikes me more than anything is that this place is unique to everyone – each person has a slightly difference experience here.  We’d like to understand more about this.’

Hilary continues, ‘Whether you have visited the landscape just once, or you come every week, we would be delighted if you would fill in the survey. There are just three main questions about how being here makes you feel and a few simple clarifying questions such as what you saw on your visit. The closing date is midnight on Sunday 18th September.’

The Cursus Barrows in the Stonehenge Landscape, Wiltshire. (c)National Trust Images/John Miller

The results of this survey will be used to enhance the way the National Trust help people to engage with the landscape in the future. The survey can be completed via www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/W9F92LV or www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stonehenge-landscape. Alternatively if you would like hard copy, then please do telephone 01672 538035.

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