Mystery structure installed on Long Mynd confirmed to be protective boardwalk

This wooden structure spotted by a Shropshire Star reader on one of the county's most beautiful spots had him wondering whether Angel of the North sculptor Anthony Gormley had been allowed to build there.

This structure has appeared on Long Mynd
This structure has appeared on Long Mynd

But the National Trust has revealed that the wooden boardwalk has had to be put in place at Long Mynd, in the Shropshire Hills, to protect an ancient monument from being damaged by mountain bikers - and a balance had to be struck between it's unsightly look and the more important task of looking after a medieval enclosure.

Shropshire Hills area ranger Patrick Edwards and his volunteer team took action last week to protect the scheduled ancient monument from erosion.

Mr Edwards said: “A new boardwalk has been installed on the Long Mynd to protect a scheduled ancient monument, in this case a medieval enclosure which is a ring-shaped embankment.

"Unfortunately over time, a section of the embankment has become eroded by track lines caused by mountain bikers."

He said that permission and guidance had been sought from Historic England for consent and they were supported by the team's own archaeologist to carry out repairs to the damage.

"Following this work it was decided that a raised boardwalk would be required to protect the site and prevent further erosion," said Mr Edwards.

A team of National Trust volunteers had created and installed the new eight metre wooden boardwalk last week. There are four other similar ones already located elsewhere on the Mynd to enable visitors to cross wet areas and to protect other important landscape features.

Mr Edwards added: "As a conservation charity we always have to balance visitor access with our duty to protect the land and properties that we manage.

"The installation of this latest boardwalk means we can still welcome mountain bikers along their usual routes but also safeguard an important archaeological feature.”

For the Star reader, who wanted to remain anonymous though, the balance was not right.

"It looks horrible, on top of a beautiful part of the landscape," he insisted.

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