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Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage: Ogden Water Roman Road Excavation
Iron smelting at last year's festival in Hardcastle Crags
This hands-on archaeological dig will be perfect for families and anyone interested in this area’s Roman past.

Between Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 24th individuals and families are being invited to investigate the site of the Ilkley to Manchester Roman Road at Ogden Water Country Park, Calderdale. This free event offers hands-on experience of an archaeological dig. When the excavation has been completed the Roman road will be covered over again.

“The site was chosen as a result of the woodland survey undertaken on behalf of Yorkshire Water in March 2017,” explained Chris Atkinson, Woodland Heritage Officer, working on the Celebrating out Woodland Heritage project, managed by Pennine Prospects.

“The road is difficult to identify on the ground, however its presumed course is recorded on historic OS maps.  During the survey a single collapsed tree was recorded. Within its root plate were a number of large sandstone slabs which appeared to have been uplifted from a surface.  The character of the stones seems to match those identified along the course of the road further to the north, uncovered during excavations between the 1960s and ‘80s.”

To take part in the excavation no experience is necessary but booking is essential. To book contact Chris at Chris.Atkinson@pennineprospects.co.uk.
“Volunteers must dress for the outdoors (hat, trousers, shirts, waterproofs) and wear sturdy boots or wellingtons. Feel free to bring your own gardening gloves and insect repellent is a must.  You may also wish to bring something to eat and drink,” Chris added.

On Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24, 11am to 4pm there will be a Woodland Archaeology Festival at Ogden Water Country Park to bring together the end of the excavation and celebrate woodlands.

“The festival will mark the end of the excavation and offer people the opportunity to see the Roman road excavation before it is reburied,” added Chris. “There will be a number of stalls and activities, which will include traditional woodworking techniques, archaeological charcoal analysis, iron smelting, prehistoric pot making, 15th century bowl turning, kids’ archaeology activities and charcoal making to name but a few.”

And in November Pennine Prospects, in collaboration with the University of Bradford will host the Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage Conference. Taking place between 16th and 18th the conference will promote the heritage and archaeological investigations of woodlands across the UK. It is open to the public and academic audiences alike. For more information visit https://woodlandheritageconference2018.com/

Organisers would like to hear from anyone working in or investigating woodlands and welcome the submission of papers and posters for presentation at the conference.

Please send titles and abstracts for a 20 min paper (Word format, max 250 words) to woodlandsconference@bradford.ac.uk. Please include the full title of the presentation, the full names and affiliations of all contributing authors, and a contact email address. The deadline for paper presentations is 22 June 2018 and the deadline for posters is 16 October 2018.

These events are all part of the Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage Project, a three year project to promote this valuable historical resource to help protect it for future generations. The project is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (£400,000), with contributions from the Newground Together Trust (£60,000), the Green Bank Trust (£16,500) and Yorkshire Water (£20,000), and managed by Pennine Prospects, the organisation working in and for the South Pennines.

For more information about the project please visit www.celebrate-our-woodland.co.uk or find us on Facebook at Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage. Call Robin Gray on 07732 069 340 or Email robin.gray@pennineprospects.co.uk


Pennine Prospects

Pennine Prospects was set up in 2005 as a champion for the South Pennines. It is a unique rural regeneration company that aims to promote, protect and enhance the built, natural and cultural heritage of the South Pennines.

Pennine Prospects is at the heart of the sustainable development of the South Pennines, working with local authorities, government agencies, businesses, voluntary organisations and the local community to manage and enhance the area’s heritage assets so that they contribute to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the South Pennines.

Pennine Prospects is a well-established cross-sector partnership bringing together local authorities: Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Oldham & Rochdale with Natural England; major landowners such as United Utilities, Yorkshire Water and the National Trust and organisations from the private and voluntary sectors.

Pennine Prospects is the trading name of the Southern Pennines Rural Regeneration Company (Company No. 5432174). For more information please visit: pennineprospects.co.uk.

Celebrating Our Woodland Heritage: Ogden Water Roman Road Excavation, 8th June 2018, 9:50 AM