A project to restore the landscape of one of the richest archaeological sites in the country has been praised by Historic England.

The environmental body today published its Heritage at Risk Register for the south west giving an annual snapshot of the condition of some of the region’s most important historic sites, building and monuments.

Historic England praised the “invaluable” volunteers who have been working with the South Dorset Ridgeway Project to record and maintain the prehistoric site.

The Ridgeway is home to a diverse collection of ancient monuments including long and bank barrows, constructed around 6,000 years ago, stone circles and 4,000-year-old Bronze Age round barrows.

Of the almost 200 scheduled monuments scattered across the area, around 30 have been identified as being at risk, some of which are cemetery sites comprised of more than 40 individual barrow mounds.

The project and its volunteers have been working to survey the monument to prevent further damage and make them visible once again for people to enjoy.

Project co-ordinator Jill Hearing said: “We would really like to get across what fantastic work all our volunteers do surveying the barrows and scrub clearing to get those monuments into better condition.

“We are always keen to hear from people who want to be involved. This is our last season so the more people we can get out would be fantastic.”

Caroline Uwins, a volunteer who was drawn to the project because of her degree in history and archaeology, has helped survey 150 barrows.

She said: “The Ridgeway is absolutely marvellous, you can see evidence people that people have lived here all that time ago.”

“You see that in the names of farms, old trees, and of course the barrows which are essentially funeral monuments. It gets you thinking, I wonder who lived here, what they did.

“We’ve come across barrows which are in pristine condition, and we’ve come across others which have a telegraph pole built in them. That is why I think what we are doing is quite valuable, we are identifying which ones need a little more preservation.”

The Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project to help future these sites from arable farming, vegetation growth and animal burrowing.

While 71 sites in the region where added to the register, the future has been secured for 91, including a former RAF radar station on Portland.

The station contains the remains of an early warning radar station built around 1950 complete with a radar office, intercept recorder, tracking room and areas for a post office.

John Ette, Heritage at Risk principal for the south west, said: “The south west region is home to more than a quarter of all heritage at risk sites across England and so there’s a lot of work for us to do.

“We are pleased to report that we have been able to conserve a high number of buildings and sites in the past year, and our success has often been the result of productive partnership working with councils, volunteers, local civic groups and developers.”