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REVIEW OF TRUST ACTIVITIES DURING THE YEAR 2005-2006

The stated object of the Trust is to advance the education of the public in archaeology. Its mission statement is ‘…to improve the understanding, protection and promotion of the historic environment…’ and it maintains a strong regional commitment to southwest Wales. These aims are pursued by carrying out archaeological excavations, watching briefs and surveys; historic landscape assessments and evaluations; and the survey and recording of historic buildings and other structures. The results of this work are disseminated in a variety of ways - through reports, publications, newsletters, leaflets, the Trust website and panels interpreting local history and archaeology, and through lectures, exhibitions, displays and media presentations. The Trust frequently works with communities to promote an awareness and understanding of what is of local importance. The Trust continues to operate mainly within the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, but field activities are also undertaken elsewhere in Wales.

As one of four Welsh Archaeological Trusts established in the 1970s, the Trust maintains the regional Historic Environment Record (formerly the Historic Environment Record) for the former county of Dyfed, and continues to advise the three unitary authorities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire on the protection and conservation of the historic environment. Services are also provided for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and a variety of other statutory and non-statutory organisations. A significant area of Trust activity is the provision of advice to the Tir Gofal and other agri-environment schemes.

In all, 160 separate projects were undertaken during the year and many are still in progress.

Archaeological Research and Investigation

As in previous years, the range of projects undertaken during the year was wide. They included various threat-related assessments undertaken as part of pan-Wales initiatives grant-aided by Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments.

The fieldwork phase of the Cadw grant-aided Prehistoric Funerary and Ritual Sites Assessment, came to an end with the completion of the survey of 220 sites in northern Ceredigion. Over the past five years, this survey has assessed 1850 field monuments and has resulted in 260 scheduling recommendations. Details of 300 new sites have been added to the Historic Environment Record.

Dol y Gamfa cairn circle, Ceredigion: a previously unscheduled Bronze Age site

Dol y Gamfa cairn circle, Ceredigion: a previously unscheduled Bronze Age site

Meanwhile, the fieldwork phase of another Cadw grant-aided monument assessment programme has begun with visits to 203 Prehistoric Defended Enclosures in Ceredigion.

A linked project is the ongoing programme of investigation on a group of Rectangular Cropmarked Enclosures identified from aerial photographs in southern Ceredigion and northern Pembrokeshire. This Cadw grant-aided project is being undertaken with the additional support of the University of York. In the summer of 2005, it included geophysical and topographic survey on 5 enclosure sites and the partial excavation of a rectangular enclosure and associated annex at Troedyrhiw near Cardigan.

Excavation the timber trackway at Llangynfelyn

Excavation the timber trackway at Llangynfelyn

The Cadw grant-aided programme also supported excavation at two further sites: the second season of excavation of the timber trackway at Llangynfelyn, near Talybont and work at an early medieval cist grave cemetery at West Angle, Pembrokeshire. Once again, the work at Llangynfelyn was undertaken in association with the University of Birmingham. In June 2005, the excavation focused on the industrial deposits underlying the southern end of the trackway where there was evidence for a lead smelting complex. The West Angle project was also supported by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Trust staff were assisted by students from the University of Cardiff. The work focused on assessing the threat to the cemetery from coastal erosion.

Work continued on two other Cadw grant-aided projects: an assessment of Early Medieval Sculptured Stones at Risk that aims to ensure the long-term future of monuments facing particular problems, and the Roman Forts, Vici and Roads Assessment. The second year of this last project included geophysical survey within the vicus areas of the forts at Trawscoed and Llanio in Ceredigion.

Finally Cadw provided grant-aid towards the post-excavation analysis of the results of the excavation of a Bronze Age barrow at Fan Foel on Mynydd Du, Carmarthenshire. A particularly exciting development was the discovery of meadowsweet pollen from the area of the cremation deposits, suggesting 4000-year old floral tributes associated with the burials.

The Trust undertook projects for a variety of other clients – public and private developers, unitary authorities, government agencies, voluntary organisations and consultants. The majority of these were carried out within the counties of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. Projects included excavations, building recording work, and watching briefs that were often a condition of planning consents. The following summary provides only a selection of the more significant projects, giving an indication of the range of work undertaken. A full list of all such projects, including clients, is provided in Appendix C.

The year began with the completion of a major excavation in advance of the redevelopment of the former Esso Oil Refinery near Milford Haven as a liquified natural gas terminal. This work recorded evidence for a major industrial complex, including at least four corn dryers and two iron smelting furnaces with possible early medieval origins.

In the early summer the Trust carried out a programme of excavation at the recently discovered Roman Fort in Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo on behalf of the National Trust. This high profile excavation was undertaken as part of the major Park restoration programme being undertaken by the National Trust and provided an opportunity for significant community involvement (discussed later in this report). From an archaeological perspective, the completion of the geophysical survey and the excavation provided significant information on the layout and character of the two successive forts on the site.

Volunteers participating in the Llandeilo Roman Fort excavation in Dinefwr Park

Volunteers participating in the Llandeilo Roman Fort excavation in Dinefwr Park

Several archaeological desk-based assessments and evaluations were undertaken in advance of the determination of planning decisions. These included evaluations in advance of proposed housing developments at Priory Farm, Monkton, Pembrokeshire and at Blaenporth, Ceredigion and in advance of proposed car park at Foley House, Haverfordwest. A geophysical survey at Bryn Hir, Tenby detected evidence for activity adjacent to an Iron Age enclosure, which will need to be tested by trial trenching.

Building recording projects were carried out at several sites during the year including the completion of the surveys in advance of further consolidation of the surviving fabric at Narberth Castle and at Stepaside Ironworks. Work was also undertaken for the National Trust within the Billiard Room at Newton House, Dinefwr Park prior to its refurbishment and at the former farmhouse on Skomer Island prior to its conversion into visitor accommodation.

Other general surveys were undertaken for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park including the continuation of the Pembrokeshire Intertidal Coastal Monitoring, a photographic survey at Dale Airfield and building recording at Porthgain prior to consolidation. A broad-ranging survey was also undertaken for Carmarthenshire County Council of the gardens adjacent to the County Museum at the Bishop’s Palace, Abergwili.

The largest project outside the region was an evaluation that developed into a small excavation at Talgarth, Powys. The work, undertaken in advance of a road by-pass, revealed evidence for Romano-British settlement activity.

Projects elsewhere in Wales included two pre-determination evaluations in Neath: one of a former tin-plate works on the site of the Diwhurst Factory, and the second on an area of land adjacent to St Margaret’s Chapel. A series of assessments were also undertaken at Varteg Road, Blaenavon, examining the potential impact of new housing on a registered historic landscape.

Two further projects involved topographic and documentary research on historic woodlands and parklands at The Kymin, Beaulieu Wood, Monmouth and at Penllergare Upper Valley, Swansea.

Education and Publication

All of the Trust’s archaeological research and investigations contribute directly or indirectly to raising awareness about Wales’ historic environment. However, a number of projects and activities are specifically aimed at promoting this awareness. The Trust’s Outreach Strategy continues to contribute to the fulfilment of the Trust’s basic charitable objective - the education of the public in archaeology - and its role in promoting the historic environment as one of Wales’ greatest assets.

Community Heritage

The Trust continues to recognise the need for the promotion and interpretation of the historic environment at a community level. ‘Community Archaeology’ or ‘Archaeology for All’ is becoming increasingly important across Britain, with a recognition that the profession can make a major contribution to a number of current economic and social objectives including social inclusion, public health and education, tourism and economic regeneration. The sector also has an opportunity to take advantage of the high media profile that archaeology currently enjoys.

The excavation at the Llandeilo Roman Fort, Dinefwr Park for the National Trust provided an ideal opportunity to establish one such community archaeology project. The work allowed the participation of a large number of volunteers and had a high public profile including two well-attended open days. The excavation also received an unprecedented amount of media attention, featuring on the Time Team’s ‘Big Roman Dig’ and on several television and radio news bulletins.

Public Open days were also held during the Trust’s excavations at West Angle and at Llangynfelyn. The location of the West Angle excavation, adjacent to a popular holiday beach, ensured a steady stream of visitors seeking an update on the progress of the excavation.

Staff, students and visitors at the West Angle excavation

As in past years the Trust continued to collaborate with community-based initiatives and in particular with the Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise and Development (PLANED). The Trust has provided support and training for the recently appointed PLANED Heritage Officer and also for six Pembrokeshire-based community groups who were introduced to the Historic Environment Record. The intention is to provide continuing support for future community projects. The Trust is also represented on the steering group of the PLANED co-ordinated Transnational Community Heritage Project, working with several European partners to share best practice for community-based heritage projects celebrating local distinctiveness.

The provision of heritage interpretation panels prepared by the Trust continues to be an important aspect of the promotion of the historic environment in the region. Work was completed on seven panels for Mynydd Mawr Woodland Park, one for Llanfynydd and one for Llanybydder (all for Carmarthenshire County Council), one for Llantrisant (Llantrisant Town Council), one for Bedd Taliesin (CCW), and one for Llanddarog (Menter Cwm Gwendraeth).

Work began on twelve panels for the Aman and Loughor Heritage Walks (co-sponsored by Camarthenshire County Council and Neath-Port Talbot County Council), and work continued on two for Cenarth, and three for Saron (all for Carmarthenshire County Council). Work also began on a Llandeilo Heritage Trail, including the production of six panels, five historic building plaques and a trail leaflet (for Llandeilo Town Council). The Trust Director has also been actively involved in a complementary project to install a digital version of the Llandeilo Gospels in a new permanent exhibition in St Teilo’s church, Llandeilo.

 

Lectures and Talks

As in previous years Trust staff continued to give lectures, talks and guided walks to a wide variety of organisations, and papers were presented at a number of workshops and seminars. A total of 54 talks and guided walks were given or led by Trust staff during the year.

In February 2006, the Trust organised a successful Ceredigion Archaeology Day-school at the University of Aberystwyth, providing a roundup of recent archaeological work in the county. Several Trust staff also presented papers at the second Pembrokeshire Archaeology Day-school in Haverfordwest, organised by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

In addition, individual members of staff were directly involved in representing the Trust and in contributing to the activities of a large number of external organisations and groups at a national, regional and local level, for example: the Cambrian Archaeological Association; the Council for British Archaeology Wales/Cymru; the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO), its Maritime Sub-Committee and its Cymru Committee; the Institute of Field Archaeologists Registered Archaeological Organisations Committee; the Welsh Industrial Archaeology Panel; the Wales Historic Environment Group; the Society for Church Archaeology; the South Pembrokeshire Ranges Research and Advisory Group; the Carmarthen Bay Coastal Engineering Group; the Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum; the Welsh Coastal and Maritime Partnership; the Cardigan Castle Advisory Group; the Ymlaen Dyffryn Tywi Steering Group; the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society Executive Committee and various local history and archaeological societies and groups.

Exhibitions, displays and open days

In addition to the open days held at the various excavations, the Trust provided exhibitions and displays on the Historic Environment at a number of other public events. These included the United Counties Show, Carmarthen, where the Trust was invited to provide a stand in the Farmers Union of Wales tent. The stand received a significant amount of attention from local farmers who were particularly interested in the Historic Environment Record and who were keen to exchange information relating to archaeological sites on their farms.

On successive Saturdays in July 2005, the Trust joined forces with the Carmarthen Museum and the Aberystwyth Museum to put on a day of activities and information as part of the Council for British Archaeology’s National Archaeology Week. As in previous years the activities at both museums included the Historic Environment Record ‘Roadshow’, talks and a variety of children’s activities.

 

Reports and Publications

Two significant academic publications appeared during the year: a report on the Cistercian Abbey at Whitland in Archaeologia Cambrensis and a report on the Cadw grant-aided assessment of Deserted Rural Settlements in southwest Wales. The DRS report appeared as a chapter in ‘Lost Farmsteads’, an edited volume on the Pan-Wales survey published as a Research Report of the Council for British Archaeology. The volume also contained a report on the excavations undertaken by the Trust at Tro’r Derlwyn, on Mynydd Du in Carmarthenshire.

The Trust made several contributions to various academic journals, including an interim report on the results of the excavation at Llandeilo Roman Fort in the Carmarthenshire Antiquary and the results of the survey work at Piercefield, Monmouthshire in the Bulletin of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust. Several reports of Trust work appeared in the most recent volume of Archaeology in Wales including the results of the excavations at Newton, Llanstadwell, Pembrokeshire (the Petroplus LNG terminal), the excavations at Hayguard Lane, Haverfordwest and the geophysical survey at Llandovery Roman Fort.

An important part of the dissemination of the results of the Trust’s work is the publication of articles in circulars that have a more general readership. During the year Trust staff contributed articles or news items to Heritage in Wales, Sanctuary: the MoD Conservation Magazine, The Georgian and news items to the UK-wide British Archaeology and Current Archaeology.

Work was undertaken on the preparation of a popular booklet entitled ‘Carmarthen: the Oldest Town in Wales’ to accompany the recently completed Carmarthen Town Survey. It is hoped that this booklet, grant-aided by Cadw and Carmarthenshire County Council, will raise public awareness of the fragile nature of the heritage of Wales’ oldest town.

The fourth Trust Newsletter, funded as part of the Cadw curatorial grant, was produced in June 2005 and distributed free to libraries and other individuals and institutions around the region.

A full list of all reports and publications appearing during the year is included in Appendix D.

Education and University Training Support

During the year three Trust projects provided formal training opportunities for students studying archaeology: Llangynfelyn (University of Birmingham), West Angle (University of Cardiff) and Troedyrhiw (University of York). The Troedyrhiw excavation also involved international students from the University of York’s annual training excavation based at Castell Henllys.

Archaeology students from Cardiff University with Trust staff at the end of the West Angle dig

Archaeology students from Cardiff University with Trust staff at the end of the West Angle dig

Trust staff also provided support for the training excavation undertaken at Strata Florida Abbey by the University of Wales, Lampeter. Post-graduate students from Lampter also visited the Historic Environment Record and were provided with formal training in the use and potential of this resource.

Opportunities were provided for schools visits to the excavations at Llangynfelyn and at Llandeilo Roman Fort. In addition to the 500 schoolchildren who visited the Llandeilo excavations the project also provided the opportunity for two Careers Wales work-experience days. On these days, over 40 older teenagers were given the opportunity to participate in the excavation and share in the excitement of archaeological discovery. A teaching resource pack was produced to support the school visits to the Llandeilo Fort excavation.

Trust staff contributed to an inset day for heads of history departments at comprehensive schools in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. Papers and ‘hands-on’ sessions were provided highlighting the historic and archaeological resources available in the Trust and in particular in the Historic Environment Record.

Opportunities continued to be provided for student placements at the Trust’s offices. During the year these placements included students from a number of local schools and colleges.

Website

The Trust’s website continues to develop with regular additions to an ever growing site. Following the success of the ‘dig diary’ that was run during the first year of work at Llangynfelyn, similar daily website updates, with photographs, were provided for all of the Trust’s summer excavations (Llangynfelyn, West Angle, Llandeilo Roman Fort and Troedyrhiw). This exercise continued to prove a huge success with large numbers of visitors to the website while the dig diaries were being maintained.

Work was completed on the web pages for the registered historic landscapes in southwest Wales, with the support of grant-aid from Cadw. During the year the final ‘Special’ areas were added: Stackpole Warren, Newport and Carningli, Pencaer, Manorbier, the Lower Teifi Valley, and Drefach-Felindre. These were accompanied by the preparation of a leaflet advertising the areas. The website provides a very valuable educational and research resource and its value can be demonstrated by the large numbers of visitors who regularly use the facility.

 

Press/Media

Numerous Trust projects appeared in the media during the year, including television, radio and local and national newspapers and journals. Press releases were prepared for the excavation at Llangynfelyn and, following the discovery of the meadowsweet pollen, for the work on Fan Foel Bronze Age barrow. Support was also provided for press releases prepared by the National Trust for the excavations at Llandeilo Roman Fort. As a consequence, all these projects received extensive coverage in the local and national press. Highlights included live broadcasts from the Llandeilo Roman Fort for Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’, and an extensive interview on the Roman Fort for the BBC Wales series ‘Jamie Owen’s Journeys through Wales’.

Carenza Lewis, of ‘Time Team’, and the Malvernian pot found at Llandeilo Roman Fort

Trust staff also took part in a series of interviews for Radio Carmarthenshire under the title of ‘Carmarthenshire Through the Ages’ that were broadcast as 10-minute programmes over a period of 15 weeks.

 

Archaeological Services

Archaeological Services comprise two elements. First, the maintenance and development of the Trust’s regional Historic Environment Record or HER (formerly the Historic Environment Record), part-funded by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW). Secondly, Curatorial Services, the provision of advice to unitary and other statutory and non-statutory bodies on the protection and conservation of the historic environment. Both these services cover the unitary authority areas of Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, as well as the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Including overhead allowances, the Cadw grant for Curatorial Services was £134,858 (2004/2005: £128,671). The basic grant provided by the RCAHMW for the regional Historic Environment Record remained at £27,500.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is continuing to provide additional financial support for the provision of Historic Environment advice on the management and promotion of the archaeology of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. During the year this support amounted to £32,328. This support was supplemented by a grant of £5,000 from Cadw for the implementation of a programme of management work relating to Scheduled Ancient Monuments within the National Park. These resources allowed the Trust to employ a full time Park Archaeologist.

Continuing financial support for the provision of Archaeological Planning Advice (over and above the grant support from Cadw) was provided by four of the Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) in the region. These were the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Pembrokeshire County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council. Their support amounted to a total of £11,918. The Trust continues to be very grateful to the Authorities for this support, which will help to ensure that the high level of service provided by the Trust can be maintained.

Cadw also provided a grant of £33,221 for the Trust’s contribution to the historic environment provisions of the all-Wales Tir Gofal Agri-Environment Scheme. Further funding was provided by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) to cover the cost of undertaking farm visits for a selected number of farms within the scheme.

 

Regional Historic Environment Record

A decision was taken during the year to rename the Historic Environment Record as the Historic Environment Record to bring it into line with similar records elsewhere in the United Kingdom. It is felt that this new name more accurately reflects the content of the record that now includes information on the wider historic environment and not just on individual archaeological and historical sites.

The record includes both a paper record and a digital database. Record staff continued to enter new data, carry out routine maintenance, undertake development work and respond to internal and external inquiries. The process of adding ‘events’ (excavations, surveys and desk-top assessments) to the Record continued throughout the year.

At the end of the year the total number of records stood at 39,147. New records, and the enhancement of existing records, continue to be added from both the Trust’s own research and investigation projects as well as from external sources. The Tir Gofal agri-environment scheme continues to be a major new source of information.

Work continued on the development of a new software platform by Oxford Arch Digital for the HERs across Wales. This new system, known as TOAD HMS (The Oxford Arch Digital Heritage Management System), will transform the management of the record and will greatly improve public access to the core data through the Trust’s website. Despite unavoidable delays, it is anticipated that the new system will be up and running in the near future.

The Trust continued to be involved in the exchange of core data with the other partners of END (Extended National Database for Wales). Work is now nearly complete on bringing the HER up to the first-level benchmarks set out by the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) and English Heritage for Historic Environment Records. During the year this has included work on an HER audit that will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Record and target areas for future development.

The busy HER office

The busy HER office

Support continued to be provided through Cadw’s curatorial grant for the wider provision of information from the HER and the development of outreach activities. A total of 414 enquiries were dealt with during the course of the year. Additional financial support for the HER was provided by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. Work undertaken as part of this arrangement continued to be focused on HER data provision and the writing of descriptions for sites recorded within the Park.

The Trust continued to attend meetings with its partners to work towards the goals outlined in the Strategic Framework for Records Relating to the Historic Environment of Wales. One of these relates to the ownership of HERs and their long-term security. The Trust and its partners are currently working with Cadw to establish separate ‘HER mini-Trusts’, with each Welsh Archaeological Trust acting as sole corporate trustee of its own HER Trust.

Curatorial Services: Planning

This area of the Trust’s work relates mainly to development-control tasks, though some consultations affecting archaeological sites arise outside the planning system. During the year 6952 planning applications were notified to the Trust. Of these 1263 needed detailed appraisal, resulting in further action in 423 cases, including recommendations for assessments, evaluations, excavations or recording work in advance of development, or for watching briefs during development. On four occasions the recommendation was refusal on archaeological grounds.

In response to requests the Trust’s Planning Archaeologist continued to prepare briefs, agree specifications and carry out monitoring visits. Significant ongoing casework included the provision of detailed advice on a number of applications within the historic medieval core of Cardigan and on the Pembroke Regeneration Project and associated residential development at Monkton.

The Trust also provided advice on the archaeological implications of a proposal for the development of the former Carmarthen Livestock Market and the creation of a ragworm farm on marshland near Laugharne. On these occasions the planning authority failed to take full account of the recommendations by the Trust for fuller pre-determination assessment. However, elsewhere the Trust continues to enjoy an excellent working relationship with the Local Planning Authorities and, as a result of the Trust’s advice, adequate archaeological control is now being exercised in the vast majority of cases.

A major planning issue continues to be applications for windfarms in the region. However, there remains a problems with the methodology employed in assessing the impact of these major developments on the wider historic landscape.

Information and advice on heritage management issues continued to be provided outside the local planning framework in respect of forestry, the treatment of metal-mine sites, coastal sites and agricultural operations. This included numerous consultations relating to the Woodland Grant Scheme, with 101 applications considered and 16 that required further comment and some further action. The Trust continued to provide detailed information and management advice to Forest Enterprise for forestry works and Forest Management Plans. The Trust also agreed the terms of a contract with the Forestry Commission to provide support for the Better Woodlands for Wales Scheme.

The Trust responded to consultations from the service industries, including 53 schemes from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water as well as consultations from Western Power and the Environment Agency. The Trust continues to be actively involved with the provision of advice relating to the construction of a major new National Grid gas pipeline from Milford Haven to Aberdulais. The proposed route extends for 120km and has a working width of 44m, making it one of the largest developments in the region in recent years. Following the granting of consent for the scheme, financial support for the Trust’s curatorial advice was provided by the Department of Trade and Industry. The Trust has now been providing curatorial support for the proposed second phase of the gas pipeline that will run from Felindre to Tirley via the Tywi Valley and across Mynydd Myddfai in Carmarthenshire.

Construction in progress of the Milford Haven to Aberdulais pipeline (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

Construction in progress of the Milford Haven to Aberdulais pipeline (Crown Copyright RCAHMW)

Information was provided on ten Hedgerow Removal Notifications for Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. As in previous years, at Cadw’s request, the Trust continued to comment on Scheduled Monument Consent Applications.

Curatorial Services: Heritage Management

The Trust Director continues to be actively involved in the Historic Environment Group, an advisory group set up by the Minister for Culture, the Welsh Language and Sport to advise the Welsh Assembly Government on action that will benefit and promote the historic environment of Wales. The Trust also represents the interests of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts on the ‘What’s in Store’ sub-group which is currently considering a strategy for archaeological archives.

During the year the Trust responded to consultations on a variety of issues that have relevance for the historic environment. These have included the initial stages of the Heritage Protection Review, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Environment Strategy, a draft of the Welsh Rural Development Plan and a review of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

At a more local level the Trust continues to be actively involved in the Ymlaen Dyffryn Tywi Landscape Partnership that is seeking to develop a major landscape conservation project for the Tywi Valley. This resulted in the submission of a major grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the ‘Tywi Afon Yr Oesoedd’ project that includes a significant Landscape Investigation element. The Trust has also been actively involved in advising the Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust on the future of Cardigan Castle and Ceredigion County Council on the development of the Ceredigion Community Strategy.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Archaeologist continues to work with the MoD and Defence Estates over the improvement of the historic environment of the Pembrokeshire Training Estates, including a review of the Integrated Land Management Plan. Casework has included the future management of badger damage at Brownslade Barrow, woodland management strategies and the consolidation of the medieval buildings at Flimston and Pricaston. Management work on Scheduled Monuments within the Park has continued with grant-aid from Cadw and with the support of local volunteers. This has included earthwork repairs at Waun Maun standing stones and Gors Fawr stone circle and repair work to the sea defences at St Patrick’s Chapel, Whitesands. The work of the Park Archaeologist also included the preparation of the first annual Historic Environment Review for the Park and the organisation of an Archaeology Day-school.

The Trust continues to provide advice to the St David’s Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) on faculties and the Fabric Advisory Committee (FAC) for St David’s Cathedral. Once again it also participated in the Portable Antiquities Scheme, a voluntary scheme for the reporting and recording of archaeological finds.

The Trust continues to be responsible for the historic environment provisions of the Tir Gofal Agri-Environment Scheme in the region. During the year, and with the assistance of Cadw grant-aid, the Trust provided information on 239 consultations as part of the historic environment report (HE1) process, including 18 updated HE1s, provided to CCW as part of the mid-term (5 year) review of 150 farms. Some of these included additional land that had been brought into farms by the time of the review.

A deserted farmstead recorded during a Tir Gofal farm visit in the Afon Mwyro valley in Ceredigion

In addition, during the course of the year 47 CCW-funded visits were undertaken. Full farm visit reports (HE2s) were prepared for 38 of these. The remaining 9 visits were made in response to requests for historic environment management recommendations on specific issues.

The Trust prepared a leaflet on ‘Farming and the Environment’, identifying the Welsh Archaeological Trusts as the contact point for further information on the historic environment. Among other things this leaflet was distributed to farmers wishing to sign-up for the new ‘entry’ level agri-environment scheme, Tir Cynnal. During March the Trust dealt with 70 enquiries from farmers joining the new scheme and seeking clarification of historic and archaeological sites located on their farms. Part of the reason for this response has been the restricted and sometimes misleading nature of the information on the historic environment provided to farmers by the Welsh Assembly Government.

 

 

 

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