Swale-Ure Washlands, Vale of York

©Dr Antony Long

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber

Owner Type: Private

Funding Body: Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund

Year of Intervention: 2003 - 2004

Summary: Understanding of past landscapes in the Swale-Ure washlands will enable important sites to be protected and mineral extraction sites to be re-instated in a sympathetic manner.

Description: The Swale-Ure washlands is the name given to a low-lying area between the eastern fringe of the Pennines and the North Yorkshire Moors, drained by the rivers Swale and Ure.
Issue: Lack of understanding of past environments and human activity means that sites are being destroyed unrecorded, damaged inadvertently, and restoration schemes are unimaginative.
Strategy: Extensive field-mapping of the landforms in the study area have identified former ice-limits and river courses. Detailed studies of fossil plants and animals can recreated past environments, and a major programme of scientific dating (including radiocarbon and luminescence dating) enable changes to be related to human activity and the archaeological record.
Outcome: These studies have enabled an understanding of past landscapes and the impact humans have had on them. This will inform the local authority minerals restoration strategy, to ensure that the most important sites are protected and to recreate past landscapes when restoring sites.

Keywords: Assessment and Characterisation, Sustainability

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