• Photography Showcase

    A great selection of caving photographs to see!

    Many thanks to everyone who supports this ever popular thread. Why not join in if you have taken a shot you are pleased with? I'll pop some of my favourites up in notices from time to time - to cancel the notice, clck the X top right.

    Click here to see more stunning shots

Save the cave petition.

PeteHall

Moderator
This petition has been floating around on my Facebook and WhatsApp, but I can't find anything online about the cave or discoveries.

https://www.change.org/p/historic-england-natural-england-savethecave-protect-the-incredible-archaeology-in-sherford-cave?utm_content=cl_sharecopy_32044259_en-GB%3A6&recruited_by_id=879b0060-75dc-11ec-a5a4-b54a7b8d6f41&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_message&utm_term=psf_combo_share_initial&share_bandit_exp=message-32044259-en-GB

I'm familiar with the Sherford development site, as my company has been working on it for the developer (I've priced a few things for them, but not been directly involved, so I don't know it well).

I'm not on my computer, so I've not searched the planning portal for the archaeological report, but I'm pretty surprised that nothing else seems to have been put online about it, given the apparent significance.

Does anyone know any more about it?
 

aricooperdavis

Moderator
The developer is being extremely secretive about it, presumably because it has the potential to be a serious inconvenience. They've got an archaeologist involved to assess the site, and some 3D scans have been taken, but currently I believe this is with the aim of justifying blocking it up so that development can continue. I would love for access to be preserved but it's a big old hole that'll require some serious engineering to stabilise enough to build on.
 

gingernutcrazy

New member
Be interesting to know who this archaeologist is/if a unit is involved.
I don?t see how the county archaeologist can sign of such an important site with no clause for saving/exploring the site further?
 

RobinGriffiths

Well-known member
If everyone (who is concerned) and is on Twitter, tweets a link to the petition, surely that'll get some hit from their followers.
 

PeteHall

Moderator
gingernutcrazy said:
Be interesting to know who this archaeologist is/if a unit is involved.
I don?t see how the county archaeologist can sign of such an important site with no clause for saving/exploring the site further?

If you have access to a computer, you will be able to look up all documents and representations associated with the planning application, which will tell you who the developer's archaeological consultant is, and who is responding on behalf of the council. The planning portal is a complete nightmare from a phone though, so I haven't bothered trying yet...
 

gingernutcrazy

New member
PeteHall said:
gingernutcrazy said:
Be interesting to know who this archaeologist is/if a unit is involved.
I don?t see how the county archaeologist can sign of such an important site with no clause for saving/exploring the site further?

If you have access to a computer, you will be able to look up all documents and representations associated with the planning application, which will tell you who the developer's archaeological consultant is, and who is responding on behalf of the council. The planning portal is a complete nightmare from a phone though, so I haven't bothered trying yet...

From what I can see Cotswolds did the arch for the development... I've emailed county Arch about it to find out some more info.
 

mrodoc

Active member
Those observant among you will have noticed the posting on Sherford Bone Fissure  that got taken down within 24 hours. Absolutely stunning photographs by Mark Burkey and the site has been LIDAR scanned by Roo Waters. It is without doubt the best bone cave find for decades in Devon. One of the team who did the photo survey seemed keen on keeping the find quiet but it has apparently  been well known to a number of cavers for many months. I am sure if there is the will the site could be protected. It isn't just a bone pit by the way it is a cave system and there aren't many of those to see in Devon.  The nearest cave to it that is well known is Radford Cave by the way.
 

PeteHall

Moderator
mrodoc said:
One of the team who did the photo survey seemed keen on keeping the find quiet

That seems to have back-fired then, if it's at risk of getting filled in now!

Surely a cave discovery on a development site which is clearly at risk should have been publicised as much as possible, as soon as possible. Get the media down there, get a TV archaeologist down there, get the local community excited about it and it would  stand a far better chance of surviving.

Other than for particularly significant archaeological finds, the usual requirements for planning are simply to record what was there. It is incredibly rare for an archaeological find to actually block a development in order to preserve it.

Surely now is the time for these stunning photos and lidar survey to be splurged all over the internet, so people can see what's at risk!
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
I'm not a huge friend of flying rodents, but in this case... Please tell me bats live in there?? Or at least has it been proven they don't? Sounds like important habit for them
 

Undergroundtara

New member
For sure we need more photos and images. If you have any contacts we any I could really use them to raise awareness.

Ideally, we would get a site visit and I've asked several authority figures to help with this.
 

mrodoc

Active member
Please be aware the site is being excavated I believe. The issue is protection from being permanently sealed.
 

Keris82

Member
See Tara's post here with photos https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=29066.msg356146;topicseen#new
 

mikem

Active member
From devonlive article (link in other thread):
The Sherford Consortium will preserve the area where the remains have been found. The underground space will be conserved, and no construction will take place on top of it. However, the entrance will be closed to both protect the historic site and ensure public welfare. It is not, nor will be, possible for the public to safely access the area in which the discoveries have been made.
 

Alex

Active member
Duncan Price said:
There was a feature on BBC Breakfast this morning and it was also on Radio 4 news at 8 am...

I heard that too, I wondered if it was the same cave.
 
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