While the coronavirus pandemic has cancelled or disrupted numerous plants for student training programs, 15 UCLan undergraduates have been able to begin a 4 week excavation. Teaming up with a professional archaeological team, Oxford Archaeology, the students will be helping investigate a nationally important prehistoric site along the A585 bypass near Poulton-le-Fylde.

This archaeological dig is a fantastic opportunity for the undergraduate students to gain valuable practical experience, which is required as part of the course. This will include experiencing the working practices on an active commercial archaeological excavations. At the same time, the UCLan students will have the opportunity to learn first hand about the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages alongside industry professionals.

The Senior Project Manager at Oxford Archaeology, Fraser Brown, said:

“We are delighted that we have been able to provide UCLan students with the opportunity to come out and join the team at nearby Windy Harbour, and are very pleased that they will be accompanied on site by their course directors. The students won’t replace archaeologists by doing work for which funding has been agreed with the client but will add to the amount of archaeology that can be examined over this extensive road scheme.Additionally, it will be great to have the expertise of Rick Peterson and Vicki Cummings so close at hand.”

Professor of Neolithic Archaeology at UCLan, Vicki Cummings, commented:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to work on a nationally important site alongside professional archaeologists.

“At UCLan we really value practical work experience, our industry links mean despite the coronavirus pandemic, we have still been able to offer important fieldwork opportunities to our students.”

William Leather, third year BSc (Hons) Archaeology student at UCLan, said:

“Working alongside the professional archaeologists of Oxford Archaeology North has allowed me develop my skills further. It’s been great to undertake fantastic real-world learning.”