THE Deadwater Valley Trust and the Woolmer Forest Heritage Society welcomed people to a Blessing of the Bower ceremony at the Walldown Ancient Monument, which dates back to at least the Civil War and possibly the Iron Age.

Year three children from Woodlea Primary School helped to build the bower - a woodland shelter made of oak boughs - at the possible site of an Iron Age hillfort. The event, on June 9, was in honour of the annual tradition started by Gilbert White on the Feast of St Barnabas.

As well as an address from Reverend Dominic Clarke, vicar of Blackmoor and Whitehill, visitors enjoyed refreshments, a chance to see the bower up close and exploring the surrounding countryside.