ICE AND FIRE News Update July 2018 | Young Artist, Summer Heat, Future Events

As the holidays begin and the summer heat continues, here’s a news update for the Eston Hills Rescue Archaeology Community Project.


Schools rule when it comes to taking back ownership of the Eston Hills community landscape. The hills belong to all of us – to enjoy, relax in and to explore wildlife and our heritage.

ICE & FIRE‘s Young Artist In Residence, Evie aged 10 (Year 5) from Whale Hill Primary School in Eston, has created this fantastic poster: SAVE ESTON HILLS FROM FIRE! We’ll be using this in future reports and on our website. Congratulations Evie!


The terrible news about the Pennine moorland fires at Winter Hill near Saddleworth remind us all how easily fires start, quickly become out of control, and risk the lives of residents and emergency services personnel. The damage to the ecosystem, wildlife, vegetation and heritage is incalculable, and some damage will be unrecoverable. Our peatlands and forests are also critical for capturing carbon that would otherwise be released into the environment and atmosphere.

Our own moorlands, woodlands and grasslands, even roadside stretches, are at HIGH FIRE RISK. Cleveland Fire Brigade alongside Cleveland Police, ICE & FIRE project partners, are urging everybody to be extra-cautious and vigilant. A great deal of progress has been made in reducing crime, anti-social behaviour, illegal off-roaders and arson, but offending continues by a reckless minority. Report any suspicious activity to @CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555111 or Cleveland Police on 101.

You must dial 999 in the event of a serious crime, injury, or where lives, livestock or property are at risk.


The ICE & FIRE project team met in Thirsk during June to celebrate our 2018 Interim HLF Report and to begin planning funding, activities and events in the future. We were only able to print a small number of the report booklet and posters – free to download as PDFs – but we are seeking funding to print more for schools and community outlets. A report copy is deposited in the Bill Bryson Library at Durham University and will be deposited at Middlesbrough Reference Library in the near future.

L to R | Market Day in Thirsk: Rita Richardson (Friends of Eston Hills), Adam Mead (Director), Spencer Carter (Co-Director), and Terri Edwards (Editor).

Our generous Heritage Lottery North-East grant for 2017 has been fully spent, with great results to match, and some ongoing specialist finds research work. We have identified some viable funding sources which we will apply to in order to continue work over the coming few years.

While team commitments elsewhere mean that fieldwork is not planned for 2018, we will be looking to provide some finds-handling and training events during the autumn and winter. In the meantime, some recent security-ditch digging on the hills, aimed at excluding off-road vehicles, will be monitored and any disturbed archaeology accurately recorded. While the weather is so dry and the ground parched, we will also be conducting drone surveys to identify any new archaeological features – and we already have some exciting finds in the region!


ICE & FIRE has a fantastic number of volunteers and people who have registered an interest in future fieldwork, as well as indoor activities such as finds processing and archive recording. We maintain a commitment to safeguard everybody’s personal information and to ensure that it is only used in relation to the project.

We are in the process of migrating contact details to a secure application (Mailchimp) which will make management and communications easier, allow personal subscription management and unsubscribe where individuals no longer wish to receive messages.

In the meantime, please spread the word about our exciting project and register your interest on our website or by email!

We hope that your summer is happy, relaxed and above all, safe.

ICE AND FIRE Project Team | Read more about the project »