School children step back in time at archaeological dig

School children step back in time at archaeological dig

Children from Orchard Park Community Primary School and St Laurence Catholic Primary School were given the chance to see for themselves first-hand a live archaeological dig at Cambridge Investment Partnership’s site, The Meadows and Buchan Street. 

The dig took place over a few weeks as part of the initial works to refurbish the existing sub-standard pitch into a Sport England approved football pitch at St Albans Rec.

The children got to spend time with archaeologist Izzie learning about the dig and why it takes place, what you can potentially discover and what it tells about the way people lived as well as what you need to do at school to become an archaeologist. They also got to see for themselves artefacts that have been found at various different sites over the years.

Rebecca Muscara, Teacher at Orchard Park Community Primary School said: “Thank you so much for hosting us! We had a brilliant time and the children were so engaged. My Year 4 students were talking about their adventures all the way back home and for the rest of the afternoon!”

Izzie Ward from Cotswold Archaeology commented: “Engaging local children in archaeology improves their understanding of their area’s past, bringing what they learn in school to life before their very eyes! We’ve found this helps to create a sense of belonging for both new and old residents, breaking down barriers between generations as children learn more about everyone’s place in their mutual history.”

Following the completion of the archaeological work, Cambridge Investment Partnership has reopened part of the football area, following feedback from local residents, to allow for more of the open space to be used by the local community in the summer holidays and putting up temporary goalposts. Work will then take place in early September to deliver the upgraded football pitch from Summer 2022.

St Laurence Catholic Primary School visit the archaeology dig

The development
Cambridge Investment Partnership will be delivering a modern highly sustainable community hub, 106 new council rented apartments, as well as public open space, a new MUGA, public plaza and the retention of a café and shop space at The Meadows and Buchan Street.

At the Meadows site CIP will be providing 78 new one- and two-bedroom apartments for council rent and the Buchan Street site will see 28 one- and two-bedroom council rented flats built. Four of the flats at The Meadows and one at Buchan Street will be for wheelchair users.

The new developments will offer high levels of sustainability with the community hub designed to BREEAM Excellent, which is in the top 10% of non-domestic buildings in the UK. The Cambridge Local Plan targets 19% carbon reduction on 2013 Building Regulations and both sites will achieve around 60% in carbon reduction, significantly exceeding local plan requirements.

In addition, there will be electric charging points for cars, 230 cycle spaces across the two sites, underground recycling bins and green roofs, with solar photovoltaic panels and gas free heating as the main energy sources.

A net total of 109 new trees will also be planted, and as well as retaining the zip wire and trim trail, a new skate area will be provided at the recreation ground, replacing the current provision. Enhanced meadows and woodland areas will also mean an overall improvement of 60% in biodiversity for the open space.

Header image shows the children from Orchard Park Primary School at The Meadows.

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