I’m happy to report an award of a grant from English Heritage to conduct a field survey of this important Palaeolithic site. I will be leading the project, which follows from a preliminary survey supported by Natural England which established that the site was currently in poor condition, leading to it being placed on the national register of Monuments at Risk. The site is unusual in being statutorily protected both as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. English Heritage and Natural England are therefore working together with the University Archaeology Department to secure the site’s future and understand it better. The survey will enable urgently needed investigations to review the condition of this rare example of a Palaeolithic Scheduled Monument, and recommend future management strategies to ensure its long term preservation in good condition. The project will also allow new research to be conducted at the same time, which it is hoped will add some detail to the complicated picture of early Neanderthal colonisation of the UK c. 250,000 years ago, and the relationship of colonisation events with climate and sea level.
Work is planned to take place in September this year, and we look forward to providing on-site updates.