Unearthing Future Projects; Your Ideas Sought for Excavations to Investigate

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

MORE digs are being planned in one of the North East's top landscape areas after the success of a community archaeology project.

Last year more than 400 volunteers took part in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership's Altogether Archaeology project. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has now awarded the AONB Partnership a grant to develop a programme of archaeological fieldwork and other events so that the volunteers can undertake more projects over the next three years.

Highlights of the pilot phase last year included excavations at Westgate Castle in Weardale, a survey of the archaeological landscape of Holwick in Upper Teesdale, the survey and excavation at Muggleswick Grange near Castleside in County Durham and the excavation of the Maiden Way Roman road near Alston in Cumbria. The AONB Partnership's historic environment officer Paul Frodsham said: "Key to the success of the pilot project has been the fantastic commitment and enthusiasm of our community volunteers.

"This work has been fascinating, but has also demonstrated the potential, and in some cases the need, for more work to further our understanding while also informing future landscape management." Working with the volunteers and partners including English Heritage, Natural England, Northumberland National Park Authority, and the universities of Durham and Newcastle, Paul is devising a series of ideas for the new project and looking at ways to bring the newly uncovered history of the North Pennines to new audiences. …