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6 November 2003
Airlift restores ancient Cornish barrow

50 tonnes of headland soil were airlifted onto Trevalgue Head (Porth Island), near Newquay (England), to repair the wear and tear on a Bronze Age barrow. The barrow, one of many along the North Cornwall coast, has suffered from natural erosion and from the impact of visitors who come to enjoy the spectacular views. The number of sites in the region shows the importance of the whole area in the Bronze Age. Porth Island is joined to the mainland by a narrow footbridge. Transporting the quantity of material onto the headland without the help of 771 Naval Air Squadron, based at Culdrose, would have been impossible.
     Twenty two staff from Restormel Borough Councilís Parks Service, supported by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, laboured through atrocious weather on 29th October to unload and distribute the soil. A team from Restormel will now carry out conservation work on the barrow and nearby footpaths. The project is the latest in a programme of work to preserve the archaeology and fabric of Trevalgue Head. In 1999, English Nature identified a number of necessary actions, including the need to repair Iron Age ramparts which made Trevalgue one of the most heavily defended cliff castles in the county. In 2001 and 2002 damage to the ramparts was repaired and a new footpath and steps were added. More work on the headland will be carried out in accordance with the English Nature management plan.

Source: Modern Antiquarian/Restormel Borough Council (5 November 2003)

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