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31 January 2011
Bronze Age cairns in Wales repaired by students

Army Preparation Course students from Pembrokeshire College at Foel Drygarnhave helped to repair a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (Wales). The group of 14 from Pembrokeshire College joined the National Park Authority's Archaeologist and Rangers to help reinstate damaged Bronze Age burial cairns at Foel Drygarn, on the Preseli Hills.
     Foel Drygarn is a large, hilltop Iron Age fort and evidence suggests the settlement itself predates the defences. On the summit there are three cairns, probably for Bronze Age burials. It is a criminal offence to alter this Scheduled Ancient Monument without permission; however, visitors have been moving stones to make shelters within the cairns. The students have been helping to restore them to their original formations.
     National Park Archaeologist Pete Crane said: "To the uninitiated these may just look like big piles of stones. But in fact these huge structures give the fort its name - Foel Drygarn means Hill of the Three Cairns - and give us a real picture of what an important feature this was at least 3,000 years ago. So as well as lending us a hand, the students have also learned more about the archaeological heritage of the National Park and we hope they'll help us spread the word so we can continue to conserve the area in future."
     Ranger Carol Owen added: "Many hands made a large amount of work disappear very quickly and the team worked really well together. They even had time for a trek over to the nearby Blue Stones outcrop - the stones which are said to be the source for the inner circle at Stonehenge."

Edited from News Wales (24 January 2011)

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