While many delight in finding sites (myself included) how are we going to preserve the threatened heritage of SE Lancashire?
Here are some observations and some ideas:
Survey and record the sites
Without a thorough survey the extend and importance of the heritage will not be known
Make the archaeology part of the environmental/plannin7academic record
From planning databases and GIS (Graphical Information System) to academic records; the heritage should be accessible to academics, planners, and most important of all, the general public. Schools should integrate the archaeological heritage into lessons wherever possible.
Local initiative and responsibility
Without guardians to look after the sites they will vanish, If the local community is not involved and motivated to preserve sites who else will help?
A valuable resource not a financial liability
The heritage enhances the appeal of areas, not just as interesting places in the landscape but also an inspiration and focus for activities and crafts. Commercial activities relating to archaeological sites are well understood,, from the sale of literature and postcards to reproductions, clothing and commercial events. So archaeology can inspire commercial activities and social and cultural events of benefit to the local community. Additionally sites can be of international interest to those researching their ancestry, one local example is Naden Head and the connection with Naden family history.
The rich history and archaeology of an area can be an inspiration for new designs and reproductions. I am a great fan of Whitworth Museum, there is plenty to inspire creativity. while local quarries can surely provide material for commercial creativity. Touchstones in Rochdale has a shop and a cafe, could this be a way to fund the conservation and enjoyment of local heritage in the Spodden valley and beyond, or are fresh ideas needed?
I would be interested to hear your views.
I hope to update this post with more links and observations, stay tuned!