I hope you are enjoying the summer. Chaucer Fields and the Unspoilt Southern Slopes are now in midsummer mode, albeit looking a bit parched. Luxurious long grass playing host to numerous bees, damselflies and butterflies.The butterfly population has included the ‘usual suspects’ – such as Dusky Meadow Browns, Small Coppers, Small Whites and Small Tortoiseshells, but interesting to come across a new one (to me) recently – the Speckled Wood (see photo above). This butterfly thrives in unpolluted and unspoilt wooded glades and tranquil settings. So finding plenty of then in ‘Beverley Boughs’ (see map below) shouldn’t have come as a surprise!
CAT Open Day, Keynes III site
The main purpose of this Blog is to remind you of the upcoming open day at the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) dig currently underway just north of the fields – above University Road and Beverley Farm. You may recall that the University has been required to facilitate the dig as a condition for obtaining planning permission to proceed with the Keynes III development. This development is now being referred to as the ‘Turing college’ development although the rationale for this has not been discussed or debated as far as I know. Anyway, please see the map below.
As mentioned in the last Blog, the open day will take place this thursday 25th July. It’s a great opportunity to find out about the fascinating evidence for a middle iron age settlement (that means dating from the period 300 – 150 years BC) established here. This builds on what had already emerged in recent work at the St Edmund’s school campus close by. Presumably this extraordinary site will have been flourishing alongside Bigbury Camp just a few miles away (near to Harbledown). This was a settlement which seems to have been more significant than Canterbury itself, long prior to the Roman invasion, only after which that city became the dominant population centre locally. The event will be opened by the Lord Mayor at 10.30am, although the gates will open to visitors at 9.30am and the event will continue until 4pm. There will be regular site tours and displays of finds. CAT say all are welcome to attend. For more hints on what is being discovered, please refer to the relevant CAT project site here
A couple of other reminders and information points:
- Please recall that the Canterbury City Council District Plan consultation period is currently ongoing. We (as individuals, voluntary groups, or other organisations) have until the end of August to respond. Please refer back to the previous Blog for more information.
- Following the enormously successful May event on Chaucer Fields – combining a picnic with the ‘Beating the Bounds’ by local church parishioners – another picnic is currently being planned for later next month, or early september, with local environmental and social groups. This will be another exciting collaboration. Please watch this space for more details of date, time and the arrangements for participation!
To finish: more on UKC alumni Ed Quast’s photographs
Finally, you may notice that after a couple of years, it seemed to right to ‘refresh’ the Header image used for the Blog. It occurred to me that it is crucial that the images we use communicate the point that the Unspoilt Southern Slopes are a fabulous asset for all local communities and all ages: the local geographical community that hosts the university campus; the university community itself, including current staff and students, as well as alumni; and people of all ages, with whichever communities they associate.
The new CFPS Header Image is provided courtesy of Ed Quast, a former UKC student with whom I’ve kept in touch. His evocative photo of the fields from 2011 caught the imagination of local people and was voted one of the most popular of all local photographs that year (see above). Another previously unpublished photo from Ed appears below!
Hope to see you on thursday!
All best wishes
Chaucer Fields Picnic Society