Badgers moved to protect cemetery
25 October 2007 - BBC News
A badger sett has been moved to stop it damaging a medieval cemetery in
Pembrokeshire. The animals were resettled to stop them destroying bones at
Brownslade Barrow on the Castlemartin military range. Once they were moved
archaeologists were able to examine the site and uncover some of its secrets.
The project has won the Silver Otter Trophy awarded by the Ministry of
Defence (MoD) for conservation work carried out on its land.
Last summer more than 1,000 bones were recovered from the site and analysed
at the University of Wales in Lampeter. It had previously been thought that the
burial mound dated back to the Bronze Age but research revealed it was still in
use in early medieval times.
Polly Groom, an archaeologist with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park,
said: "The excavation retrieved a huge amount of information about the cemetery
itself and about how badger setts affect archaeology. The work on the human
bones allowed us to start thinking about how people lived, as well as about
their deaths and burials. If the badger sett had been allowed to stay where it
was, most of this cemetery would have been lost, denying us this opportunity to
learn about an early medieval population."
The MoD's Sanctuary magazine, which made the award, said the project
"demonstrated highly effective partnership working".
Ms Groom added: "We're delighted that everyone's hard work has been
recognised with this award. This involved a huge number of people and the
archaeology which was uncovered is absolutely first-class, important to
Pembrokeshire, Wales and the UK."
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