Understanding the history beneath our feet

A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet - News - Understanding the history beneath our feet

24 December 2019


We are examining 6000 years of human history along the 10-mile route of the new dual carriageway ranging from the early prehistoric through Mesolithic – Neolithic to the Post Medieval period.

We are gathering knowledge about our past using a combination of techniques including desk-based assessments, geophysical surveys and trial trenching to reveal information on this part of Eastern England.

In early 2020, we will begin programme of archaeological trial trenching investigations along the route of the proposed dual carriageway

Safeguarding our historic environment

The investigations will help us understand the significance of the archaeological resource and inform how we can avoid and/or minimise any harm through design and mitigation.

The surveys are critical in ensuring we limit our impact on the historic environment by fully recording the past and all archaeological sites appropriately.

The results of assessments are reported in our Environmental Statement and are a normal part of the development consent process.

Working with experts in the field.

Our approach to how we reveal, record, preserve and share what we find, including any significant items of discovery, is agreed with the archaeologists for Cambridgeshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council.

At this stage, any archaeological artefacts will remain in the ownership of the landowner. The finds will be documented in an evaluation report.

Helps us to avoid unnecessary delays when construction starts

A good, early understanding of the unique relationship between our scheme and the historic environment will help us to avoid any unexpected surprises and unnecessary delays once construction starts.

This approach means we can develop a plan to allow mitigation works and development to coincide on site once the project is given the go-ahead.

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