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6 March 2011
Project to save cairns on British moor

A project to improve the condition of prehistoric cairns on Dartmoor (Devon, England) has been nominated for a national award in Britain. The Dartmoor Cairn Repair Project has been shortlisted for the Marsh Archaeology Award, organised by the Council for British Archaeology. The award is given to a voluntary project which has worked to improve the condition of the nation's heritage.
     There are more than 1,200 known round cairns on Dartmoor. The majority are thought to date to around 3,500-4,000 years ago, although some may be even older. The project between Dartmoor National Park Authority (NPA), English Heritage and the Dartmoor Preservation Association saw volunteers carry out surveys and repairs under specialist supervision. It has resulted in 31 of the scheduled monuments being removed from the English Heritage 'at risk' register.
     NPA archaeologist Andy Crabb said: "This is great recognition for a fantastic project which has surveyed and repaired over 45 prehistoric cairns in the last five years. The cairns repaired by the project had become damaged through disturbance such as the remodelling of the stone material to create shelters. This can expose fragile archaeology once contained within the cairn and destroy its distinctive profile." James Paxman, chief executive of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, added: "This is tremendous news and proves what an enormous amount can be achieved by volunteers working together with other organisations.

Edited from This is Devon (26 February 2011)

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