Buriton volunteers

Buriton volunteers

This weekend volunteers from the parish of Buriton got together to work in the Chalk Pits Local Nature Reserve. This site is run as a 3 year Heritage Lottery funded partnership project by the parish, East Hampshire District Council and QECP.

Once a busy quarry with 150 workers, its own railway network and kilns for processing the chalk, the area has since returned to nature and become an asset to the local community. There are now waymarked trails, interpretation boards, and regular events throughout the year.

As an ex-industrial site with a long history there are many archeological features which need to be preserved for the future.  Some of these are well-known and others are still under investigation.

At the very top of the site, close to the Halls Hill car park there is the site of  an old dew pond. Originally clay lined this would have provided water for local livestock. At some point over the last 100 years this was converted in to a concrete lined pond that may have had a more industrial use for the growing quarry business.

The purpose of the volunteer work session was to investigate the now dry site to see if enough evidence could be gathered to warrant the restoration of the pond. After many hours of digging, and many cups of tea, the concrete skin was tracked around the perimeter and the deepest point was located.

 

The bottom of the pond

The bottom of the pond

Over many years up to a 1 metre of soil has accumulated and this has protected the thin concrete skin from damage.

The County Archeologist will now be consulted and hopefully agreement reached to start the project.

For more information about the Buriton volunteer programme the site’s ranger is Abi Peett who can be contacted on abi.peett@hotmail.com

For more details about the LNR and the parish of Buriton go to the community web-site at www.buriton.info/parish_council

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