Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Cheshire "Conservation"

Cheshire Conservation Story...
"Conservation Like Geologists Strangling all the Bunnies on a Geological SSSI in a Cheshire Limestone Quarry and Impaling Their Bunny-Heads on Sticks for fun".

Matthew Taylor, 'Metal detectors turn up bronze age treasures', Wednesday 16th January 2013
CREWE and Nantwich Metal Detecting Society (CNMDS) led searches that have discovered a treasure trove of medieval artefacts on Cheshire Wildlife Trust land. The society found a bronze age ‘Palstave’ axe, thought to date from the early-middle Bronze Age of 1500-1400 BC, at Bickley Hall Farm, south of Nantwich. Another dig at Gowy Meadows in Ellesmere Port unearthed an array of medieval coins and artefacts, some stretching back almost 800 years to the 13th century. Medieval sword hangers, a Middle Eastern ‘silver snake’, clothing buckles, musket balls and dozens of coins were among finds located by around 150 enthusiasts across the two sites. Neil Bradley, from CNMDS said: “The events with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust have been very well-attended by our members [....] Cheshire Wildlife Trust hopes to have raised around £1,000 by asking metal detectors to make a donation to the charity. Jacki Hulse, the trust’s head of estates and land management, said: “This has been a fascinating venture for the trust. Many of our reserves and indeed our fields at Bickley Hall Farm have seen little in the way of heavy disturbance by man for many years, and it’s remarkable to think that we’re regularly walking just centimetres away from such a rich array of history. “The fundraising from these events has been an added bonus for us [...]
£1,000 from 150 fee-paying looters is about £6.70p each, when the going price of many of those artefacts is at least a tenner, the tekkies are laughing. Needless to say, none of these finds can be identified as such in the PAS database, not even the titular 'palstave'...

Let's hear it for the "conservation" group, the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, and their main office, conservation grazing base and "farm education facility" at Bickley Hall Farm (that one is supported by Higher Level Stewardship programmes using EU cash) and the nature reserve ("seen little in the way of heavy disturbance by man") at Gowy Meadows.

Jacki Hulse, the trust’s misled head of estates and land management, is giving himself a pat on the back having found a new use for "conservation land"
we hope those making the discoveries have enjoyed investigating our reserves in a new way.
Digging up the finite and fragile archaeological resource does indeed seem a totally new  concept of conservation to me.

How can you be so conservation-minded and still do that? By not being outreached to, that's how!

Fifteen million quid cannot even reach the conservationists in Britain. How much MORE money do the PAS want to start doing the job properly and outreaching to ALL sectors of society about Pportable antiquities issues instead of a chosen group of "finders"?

Hat tip to Nigel Swift (a real conservationist,
unlike pretend ones that apparently have
 no grasp or vision of the concept)


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's lack of money for outreach that lies behind Cheshire Wildlife Trust's appalling ignorance about archaeological conservation Paul, it's the lack of will to outreach to them by PAS, fearing their metal detecting "partners" will complain.

It is simply not credible that there are any organisations or landowners left uninformed after 15 years of PAS existence unless PAS has been deliberately pulling it's punches.

If they had not then every farmer, landowner, institution, school and MP would be in possession of a leaflet explaining, inter alia, that (as PAS admit quietly) metal detecting rallies are damaging to our national interest. Had that happened then Cheshire Wildlife Trust wouldn't now be crowing over the fact they have just damaged land they hold in trust in return for a £1,000 payment.

Paul Barford said...

While I share your opinion on the reasons why PAS is in reality shirking (and nobody in possession of the facts can deny that they ARE), its the "how much is this costing us?" that I feel speaks loudest. How much it is costing everybody in financial terms is known, what they are not doing (and in particular what the deleterious effects of that are) deserves plugging.

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