Day Two – Thursday 3rd September

Up early and down to the Quay where we met the other (marine) half of the team for a catch up just before they headed off to sea.  They have been here for just under a week already and, despite the weather have managed make good progress. They have located and mapped the submerged peat deposits at about 8m, estimating an oval area of about 300m by 75m.  Their remote sensing equipment maps changes in the ocean floor which they identify as particular types of deposit based on ‘ground-truthing’ i.e. diving down and seeing what it is.

They have been off on Bryher Boats, Lightening, for a bumpy ride to Bryher.  Fieldwork on Scilly always involves a lot of handing equipment on and off boats and then trudging along to your fieldwork location weighed down by all manner of tools none of which seem to be designed to be carried any distance.

We attempted to locate the peats recorded on the English Heritage Peat database, we first looked for those on Town Beach, but failed to locate any true peats.

Then we went to Tresco Flats where we mapped the visible sediments. The ‘peat’ exposure did not appear to be a true peat but could be described more as an organic sand (sand with bits of decayed vegetation) – however we sampled it using a monolith tin (we dig a pit through the deposits and then knock a 50cm long metal box about 20cm wide and deep  into the section to grab a large vertical slice of deposits).   (see tomorrows entry for an image).

The most entertaining part of the day involved our involuntary capture of a Scilly shrew. Whilst scurrying along the shore line it fell into one of our pits.   When we helped it out of the pit were it promptly headed for the nearest hiding place – up my trousers, after clasping my leg to ensure it did not climb up further up my leg – I checked its location and found it perched on my socks.  We then encouraged it to leave its temporary shelter, which it did in such a hurry that it ran headlong back into the hole and had to be rescued all over again….

We were visited by English Heritage Historic Environment Enabling Program staff, Charlie took them off to see the site of the Bryher burial and Shipman’s head Cliff Castle and a range of Bryher folk many of which we knew.

In the evening we meet up with the folk from EH and our marine team members and s in the Old Town Inn to discuss strategies and successes.


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