Despite the COIVD restrictions, much has been happening in the Ponds project!

There has been lots of different forms of publicity in the last couple of months. You can read on-line the extended article by Phoebe Weston in the Guardian following her visit to members of the team, including Ian Fairchild, in the field.

A feature on the BBC’s Midlands Today news programme on 20th August followed a filming session at Croft Castle where team members and volunteers were working and Beth Andrews spoke with her characteristic verve to camera!

The long-awaited Ice Age Exhibition at Hereford Museum was fully open by September. The exhibition includes a life-size mammoth, panels on the Ice Age in Britain and panels and exhibits on the Ice Age in Herefordshire including a full selection of faunal remains from archaeological sites.

There is a section on the Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age ponds project with panels explaining the background and its objectives.  The Earth Heritage Trust contribution was led by Ian and Beth and also featuring the coring work led by Warren Eastwood and placement of Alex Jones of Birmingham University, and work on satellite imaging of ponds by Fleur Visser of the University of Worcester. There is a video which includes both footage of a modern glacier by Ian and of Kate Andrew’s work as a conservator working on the Wellington quarry mammoth tusk.

Mammoth tusk from Wellington restored by Kate Andrew

To visit the exhibition, please bear in mind that numbers are restricted to 15 in the exhibition at any one time and the hours of opening are Tuesday and Wednesday 2pm to 4pm and Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am to 1pm. Over 500 people visited the exhibition in its first two weeks and to ensure that it gets the exposure that it deserves, opening has been extended until 28th November 2020.

Masked figure of Ian Fairchild at Ice Age ponds exhibition

One of the innovative features of the project is our production of an Ice Age Ponds App. The Tours and Trails app will cover various tours and trails. In June and July, Ian Fairchild designed the route and visited field locations and received valuable advice and feedback from many people including Will Watson and Dick Bryant.

The current introductory screen of the app.

Mike Brooks, in his role as IT contractor for the project, has made excellent progress and has implemented car and cycle versions of the first of three sections of the Landscape Tour (altogether this tour will run through over 50 km of the ice age terrain).

The Tour runs from Hereford through Breinton, Kenchester to Norton Canon (part 1), Almeley, Lyonshall, Noke Lane to Staunton-on-Arrow (part 2), and Shobdon, Lucton and Bircher (part 3), with the last geological locality high upon the Orleton moraine with a fine view of Clee Hill.

Map within part 1 of the Landscape trail showing the Kenchester area with its ponds.

Mike Brooks has included additional roadside views and some dioramas in the app. He is also producing the sections ‘on foot’ in the Breinton and Stretton Sugwas area as walks that can be downloaded as separate trails. Part 1 of the Landscape Tour is in a field-testing phase so do let us know if you would be interested in getting involved.

3-D Map within part 2 of the Landscape trail showing glacial features.

Beth and Project Manager David Hutton have been working on the guide to produce walking trails around the ponds at the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust sites at the Sturts and Birches Farm. These trails will include aerial footage shots from a drone produced by Ian Maddock of the University of Worcester.