Cattle damage at Tregeseal stone circle
For the second time longhorn cattle introduced as part of a Higher Level Stewardship conservation grazing scheme onto Carnyorth Common near St Just have destabilised a stone of the ancient Tregeseal Circle.
Cattle damage at Tregeseal stone circle
For the second time longhorn cattle introduced as part of a Higher Level Stewardship conservation grazing scheme onto Carnyorth Common near St Just have destabilised a stone of the ancient Tregeseal Circle – two years ago some 4 or 5 stones were loosened – after only a week or so being back on the Common after their winter 'break'. Clumps of cattle hair on many stones show that they are using them as rubbing posts. It is only a matter of time before this herd of about 16 animals create more havoc.
That this has happened shows our concerns, relayed to Natural England several years ago, are fully justified that the presence of these animals will not only damage this important archaeological site but, as has been witnessed by local regular walkers of this moor, has also caused a dramatic drop in the number of walkers and horse riders over the past two years.
Save Penwith Moors consider the current Higher Level Stewardship agreement covering this Common – declared in a Natural England document of 2007 to be in "good" condition -
· is an unnecessary and very expensive waste of public money (about £20,000 a year for 10 years) in an era of drastic public spending cuts;
· a ruin of the moor through visually intrusive new barbed wire fencing, gates and a cattle grid;
· intimidating and potentially dangerous presence of free-roaming cattle that can – and do – frequently graze on the north-eastern part of the Common for which there is no known ownership and is not part of the area for which HLS payment is currently being made, and where two new gates were installed under the Natural England HEATH project under very dubious legal circumstances.
It is high time that this scheme for Carnyorth Common is abandoned and all the new (and old mid-1980s) stock proofing removed. Most of these issues are now being assessed by the Parliamentary Ombudsman as part of a complaint of alleged maladministration by the Natural England HEATH project and Higher Level Stewardship agreement.
19th March 2011. Press Release by:
SAVE PENWITH MOORS
Ian McNeil Cooke (Co-ordinator)
Cornwall TR20 8NR
Cattle destabilise stones of Tregeseal Stone Circle (Video)
Save Penwith Moors Facebook Group
Tregeseal Stone Circle damaged by cattle
A recent episode of BBC Radio 4's Open Country reveals that a controversial grazing scheme is blighting the sacred and spiritual landscape of West Penwith and that cattle have destabilised the Tregeseal Stones:
BBC Radio 4 Open Country - Conservation grazing in Cornwall
Helen Mark is in Cornwall to find out why the reintroduction of cattle to graze the Penwith Moors of Cornwall and improve the area's bio-diversity has upset some of the local community. She meets up with archaeologist Craig Weatherhill at the Tregeseal Stone Circle to hear about the damage he says is being caused to these ancient monuments by the horns of the non-native Longhorn breed of cattle being grazed on the moors. Craig also tells Helen about the difficulties faced by horses and their riders from the newly erected gates and fences which they have to pass through.
At Carn Galva, one of Cornwall's most unique and pre-historic landscapes, Helen meets up with Peter Bowden from Natural England and Jon Brookes of the National Trust who explain the reasons for the conservation grazing scheme and how important it is to this ancient landscape. This heathland is of national and international importance and the grazing scheme is intended to open up footpaths the natural way, avoiding the need for heavy machinery and herbicides, and fences and cattle grids have been put there to keep cattle in and not people out. However, when Helen joins Ian Cooke and Steve Yandall of the Save Penwith Moors campaign, she hears about their concerns for the environment and how emotional they felt to have barbed wire fences appearing out on the moors. But when she arrives at Trengwainton Farm near Penzance, farmer Stephen Bone takes Helen to a part of his land that his father fenced and grazed 40 years ago and which soon became waist high in bracken when the cattle were taken in. Stephen is actually now busy re-fencing his land ready to graze animals there as part of the Conservation Grazing Scheme. He tells Helen that he has offered an olive branch to those opposed to the scheme by suggesting that he take his livestock in during the busy summer months and school holidays.
Finally, Helen meets up with Stephen Warman who has been brought in to try and resolve the situation and to narrow the gap between the two opposing sides. Where do they all go from here in order to manage the moors in the best way for all those who care about this landscape?.
Listen again: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tjvhj
For more information visit: www.savepenwithmoors.com
Photo's of Longhorn cattle at Tregeseal Stone Circle
from A Description of Malvern and its Concomitants - Mary Southall (1882)
Upon the summit of the North Hill, there appears an immense grave, part of which is entire. The narrow part appears to have fallen in. The old inhabitants of Malvern call it the Giant's Grave. It has a very peculiar appearance. By the side, is the form of a cross...Upon the Table Hill you will perceive the figure of a large table, whence the name is derived. In the centre is a cross, of the same size as that by the Giant's Grave, upon North Hill.
In 'Early British Trackways, Moats, Mounds, Camps, and Sites' Alfred Watkins states that North Hill is the beginning of a ley line to Pen-y-Beacon via Mathon Church, Moat at Birchend, Stretton Grandison Church, Shucknell Hill, White Stone Chapel, Burcot Pool, Ten Houses Pond and Sugwas Park.
Watkins also believed that the nearby St Ann's Well was the start of a ley line that passes along the ridge of the Malvern Hills through several wells including the Holy Well, Walms Well and St. Pewtress Well.
from Prehistoric Sites of the Malverns - By Liam Rogers
Bronze Age Burials on the Northern Hills
Just two miles east of Mathon, further burials were found atop Worcestershire Beacon and North Hill. An eighteenth century book (M.Southall's Description of Malvern) mentions a collapsed tumulus on North Hill known as the Giant's Grave, and another possible one just to the south on Table Hill. In 1849, Private Harkiss discovered a cremation on the south side of a summit-top cairn on Worcestershire Beacon - ashes, a skull and other bones, and a decorated urn were uncovered. To the north of the cairn was a second cremation. If connected with the probable settlement at Mathon, there may be some symbolic significance in these hilltop mounds - which may have been visible on the eastern skyline from Mathon. Between North Hill and Worcestershire Beacon is the well-known St.Anne's Well which may have been in use even in the Bronze Age. Roy Palmer speculates that its name may come from the Celtic goddess Anu.
North Hill is a hill whose summit 397 m (1,303ft ) is the second highest point of the range of Malvern Hills that runs approximately 13 kilometres (8.1 miles) north-south along the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border, although North Hill lies entirely within Worcestershire.
The eastern flank of the hill lies directly behind Worcester road in Great Malvern from where its summit is a brisk 15 – 20 minutes steep walk from the town centre via St Ann's road and Happy Valley. A path from the car park in North Malvern follows the lower contour of North Hill to Happy Valley and St Ann's Well.
Although the flint route from North Wales to Wessex lay to the north of Malvern, there is some evidence to suggest that traders passed over the Malvern Hills. Parts of an arrowhead, scraper and flint flakes have been discovered between the North Hill and Table Hill. An 19th Century guide book describes both a collapsed burial mound on North Hill named the Giant's Grave and a tump on Table Hill. These tumuli may have been connected to the Dobunni settlement in Mathon.
A track that runs along North Hill was known as the "Pyx Path" and was used by the priest from Worcestershire when bringing Sacrament to the hermits that lived in Malvern in the 11th Century. It was also referred to as the "Pixie Path", as it was believed to be used by faeires. The Lodge spring can be found at the foot of North Hill, off Worcester road. The ornamental fountain has a small spout and basin that is similar in design to those at St Ann's Well.
1. Smith, B.S: 1978 A History of Malvern Allan Sutton and The Malvern Bookshop ISBN 0904387313
2. Severn Burrow, C.F: 1948, A little city set on the hill: the story of Malvern
3. Bruce Osborne & Cora Weaver: 1994, Aquae Malvernsis - The Springs and Fountains of the Malvern Hills ISBN 1873809077
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