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24 August 2011
Volunteers needed to preserve Cornish prehistoric sites

Conservation charity BTCV will be running volunteering days on the last Friday of each month, including one in North Cornwall (England) this week. The work to be done will include clearance around hut circles, redefining old field systems, controlling bracken and gorse and making the sites more accessible. All the work is done by hand, with an archaeologist on site to explain about each of the sites and to record the work done.
     This Friday BTCV will be running its second volunteer task day on Bodmin Moor, at Carburrow Tor near Warleggan (OS grid reference SX 1524 7051). It consists of prehistoric hut circles and terraced fields and a medieval settlement, as well as a Bronze Age barrow. The work involves managing bracken and gorse to ensure archaeological features are not being damaged and are visible to visitors. The overall aim is to form a group of volunteers to continue vegetation management on sites throughout the moor, supported by BTCV, Cornwall Council and English Heritage.
     Ann Preston-Jones, of English Heritage, said: "The remains at Carburrow Tor are absolutely fantastic, with remarkably well-preserved prehistoric hut circles and terraced fields, a medieval settlement with its trackways and fields and, on top of the tor, the Bronze Age barrow after which the tor is named. Sadly, much of the site is hidden by gorse and bracken: but now, thanks to the work of BTCV, the stone walls of the hut circles and other remains are revealed for the first time in many years. I'm really looking forward to seeing the results."
     Tom David of BTCV said: "BTCV offer volunteers the opportunity to get involved with these sorts of projects in a safe and enjoyable environment. Volunteers will be able to visits sites they might not have been to before and be able to see the difference they have made at the end of the day. The task at Carburrow is going to consist of clearing vegetation from around old hut circles so that they are more clearly visible."
     If you are interested in this project and would like to become involved in this or other conservation projects that BTCV run contact them on 01209 610100 or cornwall@btcv.org.uk.

Edited from Cornish Guardian (24 August 2011)

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