AS part of World Heritage Day on Saturday the Stonehenge Alliance called on political leaders to pledge support for safeguarding the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

The group are campaigning against the decision to widen the A303 with a short tunnel and currently have 17,000 signatures on a petition opposing the plan.

Ahead of the General Election, the Alliance is asking politicians for a commitment to protecting the whole of the WHS, in line with the UK’s obligation under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

Kate Fielden, archaeologist and Hon Secretary to the Stonehenge Alliance, said: “At a time when we are condemning the wanton destruction of World Heritage Sites in the Middle East it is hypocritical to propose damage to one of our own.

"What’s worse is that destroying our archaeological past at Stonehenge is both avoidable and unnecessary.

"Just as we are starting to understand the wider landscape and to discover more of its ancient past, road construction works could lead to huge damage and permanent loss of archaeological evidence as well as tranquillity."

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the body set up to promote the protection, conservation, and enhancement of monuments and sites.

ICOMOS has already written to the UK Government expressing its concern about the A303 proposals for Stonehenge.

Chris Todd from Campaign for Better Transport said: “Any future Government must uphold its international duty to safeguard the future of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site which is threatened by the current plans for bigger roads to the South West.”