WORK is under way to improve footpaths and access to Castle Hill.

More than 150 tonnes of soil has been laid at the site and workmen are starting to prepare the new pathways.

Extra steps are also being added to improve access to the ancient monument.

The essential work includes making the footpaths suitable for disabled visitors and push-chair friendly.

Work is being carried out on the south side of the monument first, with work starting on the northern side later in the spring.

Ranger Julian Brown said: “The contractors arrived on the site on Monday and have made good progress.

“A long stretch of footpath is being prepared and they are taking shape already. It is looking good so far.

“We have been working closely with English Heritage to make sure all the work we do fits in with the area and local interest groups are also getting involved.”

The level pathway around the perimeter of the site is the first stage of work at Castle Hill.

It is being constructed using environment-

friendly materials that were tested last summer. Special techniques are being used to minimise disturbance to the underground archaeology.

Organisers hope the work will be completed by the summer time to allow residents to enjoy the site during the summer holidays.

Mr Brown is also working with local community groups and archaeologists to source information for display boards at Castle Hill.

He added: “They are a key feature for us and it gives us the chance to work with interest groups and get them involved.

“The display boards will show key points of the site and will cover the history of it too.”

The boards will be unveiled later in the year.

The work is part of the Castle Hill Conservation Management Plan programme.

Future work set to be carried out on the site includes the installation of a bridge leading up to the tower, subject to planning permission.

Viewing platforms and new seating will also be added.