Pressure Grows for Restoration of Lindow Moss

Pressure is growing for urgent action to be taken to preserve and restore Lindow Moss and provide a fitting memorial to Lindow Man, following a recent day school on “Lindow Moss: Origins and Future Prospects”. The event was organised by Transition Wilmslow and the Wilmslow Guild on 18th October. Photographs taken by Garry Kershaw, Heather Calderbank and Ali Berry.

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Over 60 people including local residents and students from the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University were absorbed by contributions from a range of experts including Rick Turner, the former Cheshire County Council Archaeologist who found Lindow Man 30 years ago this year.

There was a special guest keeping watch over proceedings in the form of a reconstructed bronze head of Lindow Man which was kindly loaned for the day.

Presentations covered the evolution and history of Lindow Moss and the processes that could be used to restore the area which is currently used for peat extraction. Several speakers underlined why the restoration of this historic, ecologically important and recreation friendly local asset is now critical. During lunch attendees were able to explore exhibitions by local groups including a display from Wilmslow Library on local maps, books and other reference material; and experience, firsthand, investigative techniques such as peat coring, and pollen analysis.

Rick Turner, in an inspirational and amusing talk, recounted his involvement in the discovery of Lindow Man from his first telephone call from a local newspaper reporter through to his work with the British Museum on the exhumation, examination and preservation of his body. He reminded us of the local and wider significance of Lindow Man. It was an archaeological discovery of international significance, with some of the forensic techniques used to investigate him now evident in CSI Miami and Silent Witness! In his concluding comments Rick made an impassioned plea for Lindow Moss to be returned to an area that Lindow Man would recognise.

Attendees also heard from a volunteer on the restored Whixall Moss in Shropshire. His pride in what they had achieved in providing a valuable resource for local residents was evident to all.

Professor John Handley from Transition Wilmslow, who chaired the day school, thanked all speakers and presenters for their insight into the past and future of Lindow Moss. He emphasised the importance of Lindow Moss for its ecological importance both locally and as part of a wider network of mosses in the North West but also as a means of reducing carbon emissions and its importance to local residents. He urged that the momentum to restore the moss not be lost.

The overall mood of the day was aptly captured in the words of one contributor “Peat extraction has left little of the original peatland.   We must act soon. Today has shown that there is head of steam from local people, agencies and academic institutions to restore this area. It is an enormous opportunity which we must grasp”

We Want Your Vote For Wilmslow!

 Two Wilmslow groups shortlisted for community funding

Great news!  Skipton Building Society ‘Grassroots Giving Campaign’ have 161 grants of £500 each for projects that enhance local communities – and Transition Wilmslow and Wilmslow Community Archaeology have been shortlisted for entry into the final voting stage!

Voting opened on 1st September and runs until mid October.  You can vote for any of the shortlisted projects by clicking on http://www.skiptongrg.co.uk/ and see the amazing work going on across the country.  Vote for both of the Wilmslow contenders and you will be supporting their work to improve our local environment.

If successful, we at Transition Wilmslow would use the funding to help local people understand more about the amazing landscape on their doorstep, in particular Lindow Moss, an area of exceptional archaeological and ecological significance. The funds would help to pay for a mobile exhibition of photographs with explanatory text that could tour schools, churches and community spaces. This would support a campaign to restore the moss, to protect the landscape, provide access for walkers, cyclists and those with disabilities, and provide an educational resource and a green lung for Wilmslow. Transition Wilmslow have already held a workshop for interested groups, and had a very successful Dawn walk on 2nd August with more than 40 local people to celebrate the discovery of the body of Lindow Man.

Vote for Transition Wilmslow on http://www.skiptongrg.co.uk/apply-for-funding/whos-applying/north-west/transition-wilmslow/.

Thank you!

Also why not book your place on the Day School ‘Lindow Moss: Origins and Future Prospects’ at the Wilmslow Guild with Professor John Handley, Saturday, 18 October 2014?  For more information and booking details see page 62 of the Wilmslow Guild Prospectus

Transition Wilmslow’s Dawn Walk on Lindow Moss: A summary …

On 2nd August, we organised a Dawn Walk last weekend to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the discovery of Lindow Man, Britain’s first bog body, in Wilmslow. We started out in darkness by the lake, where David Reynolds from Wilmslow Green Room read a piece about Llyn Dhu, The Black Lake, and then walked on to the Moss as the dawn broke. After more readings by the site of the peat cutting, we walked to the bog pools to be met by druids from the Wildwood Seed group, who led a dramatic and evocative druid celebration of Lindow Man and the generations of people who lived , worked and, in the case of Lindow Man, died on the Moss. A wreath, made by Jean Hill from willow, reeds and wild flowers growing on the Moss, was then placed in a bog pool similar to the one where Lindow man’s body was deposited after his death.

The druid celebration was really dramatic and moving, pointing out the importance of caring for our environment, and the effect that our collective carelessness has had on this very special landscape. The Wildwood group had brought water from local and distant rivers which they mixed in a bowl, and then poured on to the Moss as an act of healing: very apt, as it will be restoration of the water levels that will be key in the restoration of the Moss.

We walked back towards the town in the early morning light, stopped for another reading by David Reynolds, and then repaired to the Friends Meeting House for a congenial and much needed breakfast. It was a really memorable and very special day. Particular thanks are due to John Handley for leading the walk and preparing the readings, to Paul Hughes from the CEC Rangers Service, to the Wildwood Seed Group, to David Reynolds and Jill Ollerenshaw from the Green Room, and many Transition Wilmslow members who helped with the organisation and publicity for the event.

Lindow Man also made it to the BBC World Service “Witness” Programme (where Rick Turner, who discovered Lindow Man, was interviewed): http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/witness/witness_20140806-0750a.mp3,

And a guest blog post on the Manchester Museum blog: http://lindowmanchester.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/809/

A further piece of work written by Rick Turner about the day he found Lindow Man is available here: Lindow Man Thirty Years On

Lindow Moss Dawn Walk: Report and photos

Lindow Moss is a site of immense archeological and ecological significance, and Transition Wilmslow is at the centre of an exciting venture to restore it as a place of recreation, exercise and learning for local people. As part of a series of events to raise awareness of the importance of the Moss, we had a Dawn walk on the 2nd August led by John Handley. As well as evocative readings about the Moss and Lindow Man, we joined the Wildwood seed group in their moving celebration of our Bog Ancestors, the people who lived and died on the Moss.

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Photographs from the Lindow Moss dawn walk taken by Chris Hill.

There’s more coverage of the anniversary of the discovery of Lindow Man (and our work) on wilmslow.co.uk. And also a piece on the BBC website.

Next up is our Day School at Wilmslow Guild on 18th October! If you are interested in helping with the Lindow Moss work, please contact us.

Dawn Walk on Lindow Moss – 2 August 2014

This year is the 30th anniversary of the discovery, on the bog, of Lindow Man, a character of incredible historical and cultural importance. On 2nd August to commemorate the date of the find, a dawn walk on the bog is planned to celebrate his significance. This is just one awareness-raising event in which local people are invited to take part.

Why not join us at dawn on 2nd August for a guided walk on Lindow Moss?

Numbers are limited so to avoid disappointment please register for the walk here.

Have a look at our Lindow Moss webpages for more information about our campaign to restore the moss.

 

 

Anything but a Bog Standard Landscape…

A New Vision for Lindow Moss

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On Thursday 3rd April, Transition Wilmslow hosted a workshop to bring people together and discuss a new way forward for Lindow Moss.  Over 50 people attended, from local councillors, to English Heritage, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Manchester Museum, Environment Agency, and other interested parties.

Professor John Handley talked about the formation of the Moss (a much bigger area than that known as Lindow Common), and how the exploitation of the peat for fuel from the Middle Ages onwards created distinctive field boundaries called moss ‘rooms’. He described it as “one of the best preserved landscapes of its type in Britain and yet, astonishingly, it is not protected by designation of any kind.”

Tony Evans, Chair of the Saltersley Common Preservation Society (covering Lindow Moss), also addressed the group.  We heard about the apparent infringements of the planning conditions by the peat extraction companies, leading to a lowering of the water table, and effects including near-disappearance of wildlife such as water voles, and subsidence of houses in the area.

Groups looked at education, landscape restoration and heritage, access and usage, and ecology to identify possible steps to restore the Moss and were reminded that this year is the 30th anniversary of the finding of Lindow Man. The building buzzed with lively conversation.

The participants agreed a New Vision for Lindow Moss and that we would try to work collaboratively to bring about the project.

For Transition Wilmslow, the project brings together many of the strands that they are about: local community, biodiversity, food, education, carbon, resilience and legacy for future generations.  For more information please visit the Lindow Moss pages.

Happy New Year!

What is Transition Wilmslow up to this year?

We already have quite a few events happening in January.

Join us for our first Film Night of the year:

Tuesday 28th January, 7.15 for 7.30 at our usual venue – upstairs room of Wilmslow Library.

We are showing a fast paced, quirky and fun feature length documentary called “EDIBLE CITY”. It is about the local good food movement that is taking root in San Francisco Bay and across the world, including here in Cheshire!

More information including trailers at www.ediblecity.net

No charge, but donations to cover costs will, of course, be welcome!

We are busy with our Groups and Meetings too:

  • Lindow Moss Group is meeting on 7th January at 8pm Quaker Meeting House to discuss plans going forward

  • Green Drinks our social get together on 14th January from 8pm, usual venue – Coach & Four, Wilmslow

  • Steering Group meeting on 15th January at 7.30pm, Quaker Meeting House.  Come along and help us plan our activities for the coming year

  • Energy Group meeting on the 16th January at 15 Hawthorn Lane at 7.30pm

For more information on all of the above, follow the link below:

January 2014 Events Newsletter

What did we do in 2013?

It was a busy year for Transition Wilmslow.  It’s all in the 2013 Round Up Newsletter

And also….

Introducing a new cinema concept in Macclesfield from Cinevangelist– see films for free!  Interested? You can find out more on our Film & Cinema Page

Transport News

Great news about the Government’s planned investment in making cycling safer and more accessible in Greater Manchester.

Our council could make it safer for our community too by spending as little as £2-3 per head in introducing 20 mph limits.  We have over 150 signatures in Wilmslow so far in support of this – without leafleting!

If you haven’t done so already please sign the petition at:

20’s plenty for Wilmslow

Also, see Gorsey Bank’s travel survey results.  We would love to hear from other schools and institutions about their travel habits and needs – do get in touch!

Don’t forget our next family bike ride at the September Artisan market!

20's plenty cupcakes at the family bike ride

20’s plenty cupcakes at the family bike ride