Ecological campaigner and Wantage constituency candidate Richard Benwell recently explored an archeological dig at the Earth Trust.
The dig, which is uncovering fascinating artefacts and settlements, is being carried out ahead of the Earth Trust's Gateway project - a visitor hub to support their mission to champion accessible green spaces, in Oxfordshire and across the South East.
Archaeologists from DigVentures have unearthed large, ancient pits, one of which contained several almost complete pots, thought to have been placed there by their owners over 2,000 years ago. According to Chris Casswell, DigVentures’ Head of Fieldwork, the pits had been used during the Middle Iron Age, between 400 and 100 BC.
Richard, here being shown a 2000-year old key, explored the dig and found out more about the work of the Earth Trust.
"As an environmentalist, I am keen to support charities like the Earth Trust who do so much to encourage us all to engage with our natural environment. If elected, the creation of habitats, the protection of our farming and rural communities and the encouragement of everyone to engage with our wonderful green spaces will be key priorities for me".
"Helping people share in our natural heritage is so important for education and for physical and mental health, as well as for the future of our environment. We're so lucky to live in a constituency that is rich with history - Saxons, Romans, roundhouses, chalk horses and castles - and rich in nature. We must protect them and share them."
The Earth Trust is an Environmental Learning Charity that has several key work programmes, including: Food & Farming, Water & Wetlands and Future Forests. The Gateway project, at the foot of the historic Wittenham Clumps, is a multi-faceted project to increase peoples understanding of how our ecosystems work and what we can all do to care for the planet. Gateway will inspire people in interesting and innovative ways to think and act differently towards the environment, focusing on sustainability.
Visitor and interpretations manager Abi Morris said "The Gateway will allow the Earth Trust to engage more people, and challenge the way they think about and enjoy green spaces. It will help us all to protect the places we love, care for the wildlife we all enjoy, and protect the planet for future generations.”
Communications manager Ruby Glasspool added “We were delighted to receive Richard’s request for a visit, being able to speak honestly and directly about our successes and challenges was welcome; and we encourage others who wish to open up these important conversations to get in touch and see first-hand what we do.”