Erosion repair work on Leckhampton Hill

Published on 8th October 2012

view of Cheltenham town from Leckhampton Hill

Work is about to commence on Leckhampton Hill to make good areas that have suffered from erosion.

Funds have been made available by Natural England and the work will be undertaken by Cheltenham Borough Council in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) and English Heritage.

The repairs will be undertaken in three locations on the site from 15 October; all are located along the eastern bank of the hill fort:

1) Footpath through the north of the eastern bank - this is one of the most heavily used access points into the monument, and sees quite heavy traffic from both cyclists and pedestrians. There is already an erosion scar in this location which is about eight metres long and a metre wide. In order to prevent further erosion a layer of compacted north Cotswold limestone chippings will be placed along the path.

2) Erosion around the trig point - the northern side of the trig point is quite bare. The scar will be repaired using compacted chippings. The objective being to create a surface capable of withstanding the high visitor erosion.

3) Footpath through the south of the eastern bank - the bank to the north of the footpath in this location is being gradually worn down with large areas of bare earth now visible. The eroded area will be cleared and in filled with chippings followed by soil, and then turf.

Wayne Sedgwick, senior community ranger for Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “This work is essential and it’s great we’ve obtained the funding to carry it out. The Iron Age fort on Leckhampton Hill is a nationally important monument. We want to make hill users aware that during the work the trig and part of the Cotswold Way may be inaccessible and some fencing may need to stay in place for about six months. We will monitoring the site on a continuous basis.”

Paul Nichols from GCC Archaeology Service, added: “The Archaeology Service is delighted to be involved in the conservation and management of this important Iron Age Hill fort. The repair works to sections of the ramparts will allow visitors to continue to enjoy the site while protecting one of Gloucestershire’s most impressive archaeological monuments”.

Nick Croxson, historic environment field adviser in the south west for English Heritage, said: “This impressive monument dates back to around 2000 years ago and is one of a chain of large Iron Age forts along the edge of the Cotswold hills with great views across the Severn Vale. Its popularity with visitors has led to some areas suffering from erosion, so these repair works will help ensure that the value of this important site is preserved for both present and future generations to learn from and enjoy.”

The work will cost around £3k, which is being paid for by funding the council received from Natural England.