Coming soon - a project near you...

The conservation of archaeological sites in Norfolk is obviously the prime aim of the Trust. But once we have acquired and conserved a monument, how can we bring these sites ‘alive’ for local people and visitors alike?
A major part of the Trust’s aims, to facilitate opportunities for community and volunteer engagement in our sites, and to encourage and promote interest in their conservation, is delivered through externally-funded projects. We currently have five in various stages of development and delivery.
In the pre-application stage is a project which we hope the Heritage Lottery Fund will support, based at Tasburgh and Burnham Norton, and in liaison with the Caistor Roman Project. The proposals aim to combine community archaeology and creative arts in an innovative approach which will encourage volunteers to support each other at each of the sites. 
The new exhibition at the Castle Museum is currently under production, and a number of volunteer-led school visits to Caistor will be delivered in the summer term as part of the ‘Making Connections’ project funded by our Historic England capacity-building grant. 
Last month we received a grant from another of Historic England’s funding streams – the  Heritage Schools project  - to further develop school materials for our sites; this will include more training for volunteers to help support school visits at Burgh Castle and Caistor, and also to develop new materials for Tasburgh and Burnham Norton.
We have also started planning, with our partners (The Restoration Trust, Time & Tide Museum, and Stonham) the taster sessions which form the development stage of the ‘Burgh Castle Almanac’ -  a project which aims to help people with mental health conditions engage with art, culture and heritage -  part of the Broads Landscape Partnership project ‘Water, Mills, and Marshes’; and – breaking news – last week I received confirmation that our Heritage Lottery application for funding of the ‘Burgh Castle: Life outside the Walls’ project has been successful. This project will include geophysical survey of the site, and community participation in test-pitting and oral history in the village.  
All these projects aim to bring our sites into the heart of their communities. New research and activities will increase understanding of how and why these monuments were created and developed, and have the potential to make strong connections with the current communities living on their (metaphorical) doorsteps. 
If you would like to get involved in any of these projects, please do get in touch.

New in brief

  • Volunteering Thank you to those of you who responded to last month’s call out for volunteers. In case you missed the details here they are again:
  • Ragwort control: can you help? 
The Great Yarmouth Green Gym and The Conservation Volunteers will be helping us to pull up the ragwort at Burgh Castle Fort on the following dates. If you can spare an hour or two on any of these dates to come along and join in we would be very grateful!Tuesday May 31 13.00 – 16.00; Thursday June 2 10.30 – 15.30; Thursday June 9 10.30 – 15.30; Tuesday June 14 10.30 – 16.00; Thursday June 16 10.30 – 15.00. 
We will also need to organise volunteer ragwort pulling sessions at Burnham Norton Friary and Caistor Roman Town in the early summer. If you live near either of these sites and would like to help (probably half a day), please get in touch!
  • Visitor surveys As part of our Strategic Plan we want to find out more about who visits our sites, and why, and so we are looking for volunteers willing to carry out visitor surveys. The dates and times would be up to you – whenever it fits in with your calendar. We would like to focus on our most visited sites - Caistor Roman Town, Burgh Castle and St Benet’s Abbey - but if you’re also interested in carrying out a survey at one of our other sites near you we would love to hear from you.
  • 2.30 Saturday April 16 NAHRG AGM and lecture: 'Rare and beautiful Norfolk'; the Conservation Movement in Norfolk : a History. Susanna Wade-Martins UEA Congregation Hall, near the main car park – for more details see Non-members are welcome to try one or two lectures before joining.
  • Centre of East Anglian Studies Spring Lectures
6.00pm Tuesday 12th April 2016: Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod: East Anglian Themes in the Poetry of R. F. Langley Lecture Theatre 1, UEA
6.00pm Tuesday 19th April 2016: Prof. Malcolm Gaskill: Matthew Hopkins, East Anglia's Witchfinder General Lecture Theatre 1, UEA