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20 August 2014
Illegal landscaping threatens Bronze Age burial site

In Plymstock, a suburb of Plymouth (Devon, England), lies an ancient woodland, which is subject to a Protection Order, to prevent unauthorised felling of trees.
     Added to this, evidence has been previously uncovered to show that the area  has also been a Bronze Age burial ground and was the location for an unexplored long barrow. Reason enough to protect our heritage you may think. But none of this seems important to the new land owner, RPB Vehicle Solutions, who have already cut down a large number of protected trees.
     Local residents alerted Plymouth City Council's planning department to the dangers  any they have told the owner, in no uncettain terms, to stop removing trees without the Council's permission.
     This area has already proved to be quite productive in terms of artefacts , one of which, known as the Elburton Urn, dates to between 2,050 and 1,500 BCE and has prided of place at the city museum.
     Win Scutt, a former lecturer at Plymouth College, is very concerned about the burial site and also the barrow, the location of which has been kept secret t prevent looting. He is quoted as saying "In my view the site is at risk of what the owner is doing, but until it's scheduled as an ancient monument there is no way to protect it. It's not about artefacts, it's about what information it can reveal to us. I stringly feel it could be the most important early Bronze Age site in Plymouth, if not the South west".

Edited from The Herald (2 August 2014)

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