Viking site under threat

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AN HISTORIAN who helped find a Viking meeting post in Sherwood Forest has voiced her disapproval at the privatisation of the nation’s woodlands.

For centuries a certain mound in the Birklands, north of Edwinstowe, had archeologists stumped. That was until five years ago, when a group of enthusiasts discovered its true heritage.

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Lynda Mallett was part of that team and is now concerned the ancient monument – one of only a handful in Britain – could be lost following the Government’s decision to sell off the land.

She said: “Whatever private owner takes it on will not be interested in finds like this, they will just look at it as something that will get in the way.”

“They will not want people walking around their land, they are not bothered about special trees or archaeology.”

“It is our land, our heritage, and they are stopping us from accessing it – it all belongs to us and there are things still to be discovered.”

Known as Thynghowe, the mound was used during the Viking age as a place where people would come together to resolve disputes.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann labelled the sale as “environmental vandalism”.

But Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “We will bring forward amendments to the Public Bodies Bill to create a strengthened framework to safeguard the natural and social capital our forests provide now and for future generations.”

“This would apply to the powers of sale, lease and management of the public forest estate.”

To have your say on the future of Thynghowe, Birklands, Sherwood Pines and the rest of the country’s woodland visit www.defra.gov.uk or email Mr Mann on mannj@parliament.uk