Walkers urged not to pick up stones to build bigger cairns
WALKERS in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have been urged not to use stones to build cairns or wind breaks as they are putting the countryside's heritage at risk.
Rocks have been taken from ancient sites, including burial mounds dating back to the Bronze Age, to create cairns on routes in the Dales.
Beamsley Beacon, near Bolton Abbey, which has a large Bronze Age stone mound more than 35ft in diameter, is among the sites which have been disturbed.
Another smaller historic cairn further along the ridge at Old Pike has also lost a significant number of its stones.
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority senior conservation officer Robert White said: "There are problems at a number of historically important sites within the national park, including Beamsley Beacon near Bolton Abbey. We would urge walkers to resist the temptation to pick up stones and build cairns – wherever they are – because they can unwittingly damage ancient, historically important sites like this stone mound." Archaeologist Yvonne Luke and the national park authority's volunteers will dismantle modern cairns and all but one of the wind breaks at Beamsley this weekend. Repairs are also being carried out on footpaths to try to stem some natural erosion.
A poster urging people not to build cairns and explaining why will be put up on the concrete Triangulation Point.
An archaeological survey of the hilltop has been carried out and Mr White and his team are appealing for old photographs of the site to help them build a picture of what it used to be like.
Anyone who can help is asked to contact the authority's historic environment team on 0300 456 0030.
By Paul Jeeves
Posted by moss
18th March 2009ce
Edited 18th March 2009ce