Airlift Restores Ancient Headland
Dramatic Scenes On North Cornish Coast
50 tonnes of headland soil moved
Trevelgue Head (Porth Island) was closed to public access earlier this week to enable an airlift of material to repair an ancient Bronze Age barrow on the island near Newquay.
Despite strong winds and heavy rain, on Wednesday 29th October, staff from Restormel Borough Council, in partnership with the County Council's Historic Environment Service, co-ordinated an airlift of 50 tones of headland soil by 771 Naval Air Squadron Culdrose.
The repair became necessary to overcome the effect of natural erosion as well as the wear and tear of the many visitors who come to enjoy the spectacular coastal views. Transporting the quantity of material across the narrow footbridge by hand would have been impossible without the help of the Navy.
Cllr Michael Burley, portfolio holder for Tourism & Leisure at the Borough Council commented: "This barrow is one of a number along the North Coast near Newquay showing the importance of this whole area in the Bronze Age. We are extremely grateful that 771 Naval Air Squadron were able to assist us in repairing this prestigious site."
Twenty-two staff from Restormel's Parks Service, together with support from the BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) braved the atrocious weather to help with the unloading and distribution of the soil. Despite the conditions everyone pulled together in a good team effort, pleased to be involved in an important and exciting project.
Now that the soil has been deposited on the headland, a small team from Restormel will be carrying out conservation works on the Barrow and nearby footpaths in early November.
This project is the latest in an ongoing programme of work to preserve the archaeology and fabric of the Headland. A management plan drawn up in 1999 by English Nature identified a number of issues, including the need to repair to ramparts of Iron Age cliff castle, which made Trevelgue one of the most heavily defended headlands in Cornwall. In 2001 and 2002 damage to the cliff castle's ramparts was repaired while the new footpath and steps were laid through the ramparts.
Further work on the island is planned, but staff are hoping for better weather next time! For further information or pictures, please contact Dick Cole, Archaeologist for Cornwall County Council or Andrew Pidgen Parks & Amenities Manager Restormel Borough Council.
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Posted by phil
5th November 2003ce
Edited 5th November 2003ce