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.
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”