WORK has started to enhance Wareham’s ancient Saxon town walls.

District council chiefs agreed to plough an additional £69,000 into the ongoing conservation project, and contractors moved onto the historic site to start clearance work. Dorset company Banyards Ltd started removing potentially damaging trees and shr-ubs from the area known as the Bowling Green.

Purbeck natural environment spokesman Cllr Andrew Starr said: “The restoration of this ancient monument will give the public a better appreciation of the magnificence of the historic town defences of Wareham, and will increase the opportunity for enjoyment for residents and visitors.”

Tree roots can damage the walls’ archaeology and overgrown vegetation obscures views of the designated Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance.

A district council spokesman said: “For logistical and financial reasons, much of the clea-red material will be disposed of on site by burning. “This will not be undertaken if the wind direction is such that the smoke will blow towards any residential area.”

The council’s senior lan-dscape architect, Helen Lilley, will supervise the work to ensure the ancie-nt earth ramparts, dating back around 1,200 years, are undamaged and wild-life remains undisturbed.

Councillors agreed to allocate the £69,000, last month, as part of the remaining phase of the Walls Management Plan.

The work will entail the removal of all self-seeded trees such as birch, sycamore and oak and invasive scrub plants.