Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Digging to continue at fields

ARCHAEOLOGICAL digs carried out at Mapledurham playing fields in Caversham over the summer will continue next month.

Reading Borough Council has approved a landscape masterplan for the site as well as agreeing to lease part of it to the Education and Schools Funding Agency for a permanent site for the Heights School.

The free primary school has operated from temporary classrooms off Gosbrook Road since it opened in 2014 and has had to expand several times to meet growing demand.

The council is working with Berkshire Archaeology to survey and record the archaeological landscape of the fields.

The recent investigations identified an early Roman cattle enclosure and some Roman remains, including broken pottery and animal bones. Deeper archaeological digs to search for Palaeolithic remains are now needed.

This work will begin on Monday and is expected to last a week.

The council says that people visiting the fields may notice a series of the exploratory pits.

As many as 10 2m x 2m and 3m deep test pits will be dug across the site.

These will be protected by 1.8m high fencing to ensure site safety.

The location of the pits will not affect the football pitches.

The Education and Schools Funding Agency is expected to begin its own archaeology investigation on the footprint of the new school site later this year.

The temporary school will take pupils until August 2020 and the new school will cater for up to 350 children.

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