Conservation volunteers upgrade iron age hill fort Volunteers from the Chilterns Society who form the Wendover Woods Conservation Group are celebrating the success of their work on the Boddington Hill Fort.
GardenNews.biz - Nov 24,2010 - Conservation volunteers upgrade iron age hill fort
Volunteers from the Chilterns Society who form the Wendover Woods Conservation Group are celebrating the success of their work on the Boddington Hill Fort. With guidance from the Forestry Commission, the volunteers have enabled the scheduled ancient monument to be removed from the English Heritage at risk register.
The oval prehistoric fort which was in use from 600 BC till about 400 BC is situated on a promontory overlooking Wendover Woods. In the day there would have been a 12-foot wooden palisade around the perimeter of a large settlement. Some of the banks still stand 13 feet above the bottom of the ditch but over many years it has became overgrown with trees and scrub.
Colin Bradley, Forestry Commission recreation ranger, said:
“Boddington Hill Fort was something I really wanted to tackle when I started this job back in 2009 but it was a huge project. With the help of the volunteers it has made a big difference. As many as twenty two volunteers turned out on some of the coldest Tuesdays over the winter to clear vegetation along the ditch and mound and make the fort more of a visible feature on the landscape.”
Mike Baldock, from the Wendover Woods Conservation Group, said:
“Our thanks go to the Forestry Commission rangers. They have provided valuable advice and expertise plus a varied work programme, which has gone a long way to keeping the volunteers on their toes. A bonfire provided some light relief on a cold wet day and a venison barbeque was much appreciated by all.”
Colin Bradley added:
“The Hill Fort is really beginning to show character and I personally look forward to finishing the main work there and possibly securing funding for interpretation on the site to explain the fort’s history. I’d like to keep these tasks on a yearly cycle to ensure the fort is protected for years to come to preserve the archaeological remains here at Wendover Woods.”
The Wendover Woods Conservation Group, which started life in April 2009, has attracted a large number of individuals who want to volunteer mid week. A regular weekly turnout of about 20 volunteers including both men and women, some retired, on shift work, self-employed or between jobs helped to improve the Hill Fort and other areas of Wendover Woods.
Other volunteer activities at Wendover Woods included Wildlife Surveys with the wildlife ranger, pond clearing, fence removal, lime tree coppicing, removal of saplings and raking a meadow to improve the soil for wild flowers. One project helped to provide food and shelter for many species of bird in particular the Grasshopper Warbler.
For further information about environmental volunteering at Wendover Woods contact Colin Bradley, Forestry Commission Recreation Ranger, on 01296 625825 or email email@example.com or Mike Baldock, the Wendover Conservation group, on 01442 823139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.chilternsociety.org