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Archaeo News 

19 July 2009
News from Flag Fen

Peterborough's Bronze Age site Flag Fen (England) has struck gold in the form of a £2,000 grant from a DIY giant, thanks to its 21st century business plan. Nyree Ambarchain, a trustee of Flag Fen and marketing executive for the Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), helped to put the submission together and said the attraction's environmental sustainability plans were a key factor. "Every decision made at the site has sustainability in mind," she said. "From collecting rainwater to re-use, to building the visitor reception desk from discarded wood chippings, sustainability has been integral to the business decisions made." General manager of Flag Fen Neil Hart said they had been delighted to be given the welcome cash boost, which would be used for essential maintenance.
     The money was donated from B&Q's One Planet Living Awards, which aims to make a difference to local communities with awards of up to £10,000 in materials for projects that support saving energy, conserving nature and supporting local culture and heritage.
     And Neil also revealed that Flag Fen was bucking the recession trend, with an 11 per cent rise in visitor numbers since the beginning of the year. The park, which features reconstructed Bronze Age round houses, has also seen a rise in the number of people taking out annual membership for the heritage attraction which archaeologists have dubbed the Stonehenge of the Fens. The site has also recently increased its opening hours from six days a week to seven days a week, due to visitor demand.
     Over the 18/19 July weekend, experts at Flag Fen used also their newly-built furnace to demonstrate authentic bronze making techniques for the very first time.
It is part of its annual archaeology festival. There has been also a behind-the-scenes look at artefacts from the museum, demonstrations of Roman and prehistoric cooking, mosaic making and identification of archaeological finds brought in by visitors Neil Hart said: ""We're lucky enough to have the best authentic bronze casting equipment in England, and visitors will be able to see for themselves how our ancestors made the swords, daggers, jewellery and other precious items that have been found at this wonderful and important site.

Source: The Evening Telegraph (15 and 18 July 2009)

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