Stonehenge in serious trouble

The Unesco World Heritage site Stonehenge is “a destination in trouble”, a new survey has found.

The National Geographic Traveler magazine marked the site 56 out of 100 against criteria including historic preservation and tourism management.

Survey panellists said Stonehenge was a “mess”, “over-loved” and “crowded”.

English Heritage, which looks after the site, said it was “actively seeking to revamp its visitor facilities” and improve the nearby A303 road.

More than 400 tourism experts rated 94 World Heritage sites in the third survey of its kind for National Geographic.

The lowest ranking destination was given to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, which scored only 39 out of 100.

In a statement, English Heritage said: “It is true that the site has lost some of its magic, but the fact is that it is the only UK World Heritage Site to have been nominated as one the New Seven Wonders of the World.”

Seven wonders

It is competing against other iconic buildings and structures, ranging from the Statue of Liberty to the Great Wall of China, in a global hunt for the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The poll is being organised by the Swiss-based group New7Wonders and the winners will be announced in July 2007.

Last year, planning permission was refused for a new visitor centre at Stonehenge but English Heritage plans to appeal against the decision in December.

It also said that the much-needed improvements to the A303 – which have been endorsed at a public inquiry – were now subject to a government review as a result of cost increases.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday November 4, 2006.
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