TODAY we begin to bid farewell to the world famous Stonehenge circle, as it begins its journey back to Wales.

The monument has been on our very doorstep in Salisbury Plain for thousands of years, attracting both residents and visitors with its history and landscapes.

After it was confirmed the circle was first built and dismantled in the Welsh Preseli Hills however, archaeology group Friends Observing Outstanding and Lovely Stones (FOOLS) decided the iconic monolith needed to be returned to its homeland.

Group leader and Stonehenge expert Dennis Attenborough said it was “the right thing to do”.

“It took a good hour to come to this decision, but the bluestones are missing the mountains,” he said.

Chairman of Welsh campaign group Return the Rocks, Robyn Land, said: “It’s something we’ve wanted for a long time, I can’t believe it’s finally happening.

“We didn’t think FOOLS would give in so easy, we were ready to do whatever it took.

“We were planning to camp at the stones and along the A303 until we got our way.”

“It makes sense I suppose, but we will miss it. It’s going to be quite hard to find something to fill its place,” Dennis added.

Talks of replacement stones have already been discussed by local businesses, including chef Hugh Appetite, who said a replica landmark could be made out of different foods and plants every month.

It will take around 17 months for the stones to be transported by horse and carriage to the Welsh mountainside to be re-erected.

Local builder, Bob Thee, alongside Anita Hammer and Lori Driver, are leading the move to the mountain range.

The decision and move of the stones is being revealed to the general public for the first time today, April 1.

Get more Salisbury news and nominate your local heroes for the South Wiltshire Hero Awards.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.