Friday, 25 June 2010

23. Wednesday 24 June 2010

Another beautiful day.
David and Peter went over to the old sheepwash area to finish off the work they’ve been doing around here using the alidade. They completed the work by mid-afternoon.

The botanical surveying also continued today. This is a deceptively time-consuming job, as we scour the ground looking at each new flower, try to identify it, and map its distribution across the site. We managed to map about half the reservoir side – and we still haven’t done the moorside yet.

Mouse-ear chickweed © Jane Lunnon

Jane tried some macro photography, but as the afternoon progressed it became too windy and impossible to photograph flowers as they danced about in the breeze. Now that the grasses are coming up there will be a lot more to look at – identification of all these might take us quite a bit of time!

Geophysics on the mill site © Jane Lunnon

We were joined today by an archaeology post-graduate student and her colleague as she conducted her own geophysics survey of the mill site. Hopefully, her results will give us a little more information on the exact location of some of the buildings which are now completely invisible on the surface, and maybe the route of the mill-stream as it passes out of the mill-pond and apparently under the modern footpath.

Jane Lunnon, UWHG archivist

Sunday, 20 June 2010

22. Wednesday 16 June 2010.

With the archaeological field survey on hold for the summer, our attentions turned to the botanical survey of the Whitfield site. It was a perfect day for wandering around the reservoir area drawing up a checklist of flowers. The recent improvement in weather has resulted in an eruption of flowers across the site, and the distribution patterns show a remarkable difference from a week ago.

The distributions indicate that the site consists of many more mini-habitats than we had realised – the mill site itself showing how disturbance from the activities of the mill, cottages and reservoir construction has affected the ground in different ways.

Alan spent much of the day on macro photography of specific plants. Every now and then we could see a head popping up out of the hollows and behind embankments as he made precise adjustments to the camera or tripod.

Cuckoo flower © Alan Williams

So far we have found the variety of plants is not as wide as we anticipated, and what we are finding are mostly very common species found all over the Yorkshire Dales. But in a way, the typical nature of the plantlife here means that the area may be seen as a useful model for studies elsewhere.

Jane Lunnon, UWHG Archivist

Thursday, 3 June 2010

21. Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Sensing the end in sight, some team members were especially keen to complete the survey today, and we certainly had the perfect weather for it.
On-site discussion © Jane Lunnon

While some took the opportunity to discuss on-site the implications of some recent work by the Documentary Research Group, others made the most of the low water levels of the reservoir to survey features revealed on the foreshore. They made excellent progress and by the end of the day were happy to declare their section done.

Surveying on the foreshore © Jane Lunnon

In the meantime, the other team, having enjoyed an interesting discussion about the site, tidied up a few loose ends on their part of the survey drawings. Some work still remains for David using the alidade, and of course, if the water levels go down any more there may be more features to plot in. Next winter, we will also need to finish off the moorside survey.

However, the documentary research continues, as does the botanical survey. The flowers are now beginning to flourish all over the site, and will need to be recorded on a weekly basis for a couple of months or more. We also look forward to the arrival next week of a Masters student who will conducting a geophysics survey on the site. So there is still plenty to do over the summer.

Jane Lunnon, UWHG Archivist