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Mark Harper MP opens the new easy access route.

Everyone can now enjoy the breathtaking views of the Wye Valley from the Symonds Yat viewpoint at Yat Rock, thanks to a new all-ability access route to the famous historic site.

Mark Harper, MP for the Forest of Dean and Shadow Minister for Disabled People opened the new easy access route up to the Symonds Yat view point on Wednesday, 8 April.

The new path is part of the Overlooking the Wye scheme funded by a 2.8million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) within the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) The scheme is supported by the partner organizations, including the Forestry Commission who manage Symonds Yat Rock as part of its national forest estate, Gloucestershire County Council Archaeology Service, Natural England and English Heritage. The work, completed through the Overlooking the Wye scheme has enabled access for people of all abilities to this beautiful and fascinating site.

The 250,000 people a year that come to Symonds Yat Rock to appreciate the views from the cliff top, will now be able to appreciate the ancient history of the site as well.

As a scheduled monument, Symonds Yat Rock is a nationally important site. The extensive ramparts of the Iron Age Hillfort, built between 2600 and 2100 years ago encloses the cliff top above the Wye Valley.

The Forestry Commission and Gloucestershire CC Archaeology service have carried out a programme of archaeological conservation works at the impressive Iron Age earthworks that will protect this scheduled monument for many years to come.

The site has been at risk in the past from erosion from the thousands of pairs of feet that walk up and down the site every year but the improved path will remove the need for people to walk on ramparts.

Not only is the site important historically but it is also a site of special scientific interest protected by Natural England, due to the mixed woodland, limestone grassland and limestone outcrops on the site. The improved path will help protect the archaeology and geology at Symonds Yat rock and allow those who have not previously been able enjoy the main view point easier access to this historic site and all the benefits that being in the countryside brings.

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The opening of the new route to the viewpoint at Yat Rock.

One of the views from Symonds Yat Rock.
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