The Devon Karst Research Society.

The Society's Homepages for the
Cattedown, Plymouth, Devon, England, U.K.

Updated 28 February 2007.
(under major revision as of 20 February 2007.)

This Section of the Cattedown Bone Caves Webpages contains not only the Proposals for the Development of a Cattedown Bone Caves Heritage Site but currently also gives very limited details on the progress of the Project. The very existence of this Section is currently a compromise between what we can and cannot publish in regard to the contents of the original Project documentation, in order to maintain our committments to others on matters of confidentiality and in order to maintain site security during the preliminary stages. As of February 2007., much of this original Webpage has been removed whilst we undertake a major reconstruction of its contents in line with the current revision of all of the Cattedown Bone Cave Webpages. We apologise for any inconvenience caused whilst this necessary process is underway. For the interim, to maintain continuity within the structure of the Cattedown Webpages and to continue to give some information about what is happening, we have kept the original Introductory paragraphs in place.

    16.1.1.  The Concept :
The Cattedown Bone Caves Heritage Site proposal is a multi-phased strategy for the guaranteed protection of the contextual karst environment and its bone caves, surrounding the core Palaeolithic Cave site at the heart of the English Heritage Scheduled National Monument No. SM 29678. The strategy includes the necessary participation and support of all relevant landowners who, for the most part are commercial organizations comprising Oil Companies, Docking / Shipping Companies, Factories and Industrial Estates and of all other relevant parties.
The Palaeolithic Cave Site "Worth's Cattedown Bone Cave" was the location for the discovery of the fossil skeletal remains of "Cattedown Man" in 1886-87 and consisted of at least 15 palaeolithic hominins ranging in age from childhood to old age, male and female. [The remains of this internationally important Collection is curated by the Plymouth City Museum]. The Cave also contained a vast quantity of fossil faunal remains, including those of Rhinoceros, Lion, Hyaena, Wolf, Fox, Dog, Badger, Weasel, Polecat, Bison, Urus, Long-fronted Ox, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Hog, Goat, Hedgehog, Common Bat, Horseshoe Bat, Mole, Shrew, Water Vole, Field Vole, Bank Vole, Hare, Rabbit and Birds, many of which had been gnawed by Hyaenas. 
The whole of the proposed Heritage Site area contains a prolific number of caves and fissures, many of which are unexplored and unexcavated. As such, it is a rich, national treasure containing large unexcavated quantities of the fossil record.
To prevent this national treasure from being destroyed any further, the Cattedown Bone Caves Heritage Site proposal would not only raise its profile and create an integrated conservation and preservation management scheme, but would simultaneously make the site accessible on a limited basis to the public and would provide educational, research and tourist opportunities, whilst upgrading the image of one of Plymouth's neglected communities. In doing so, it would also provide a focus of interest, activity and opportunity for members of the local residential community at Cattedown.
As an adjunct to the proposal, it is to be hoped in the future that a permanent exhibition of the Cattedown fossil Hominins can be created in the Plymouth City Museum.

    16.1.2.  The Strategy for Implementation of the "Cattedown Bone Caves Heritage Site" Project :
-...The overall Short-term Strategy - (years 1 and 2.) :
This consists of two main objectives being pursued simultaneously, each of which supports the other.
OBJECTIVE 1. is to very slowly raise both the public profile of the site and the general perception of its scientific importance by initiating a re-excavation (or exhumation excavation) of Worth's Cattedown Bone Cave. If planned and managed with due care, this should, by default, encourage the long-term active interest and involvement of various organizations, institutions and land-owners, which in turn, should then generate enough energy and momentum for the realisation of the long-term aims.
OBJECTIVE 2. will pursue the aim of land-acquisition to form the basis of the core area for the practical realization of the actual Heritage Site itself and for which the Cattedown Bone Caves Heritage Site Project can be formally set up. A formal Management and Scientific Advisory Committee will have to be created and in connection with this, the identification and recruitment of the necessary skilled and interested individuals to form such a body of management and technical expertise will have to be undertaken.
The Society's international membership voted in March 2005 to change its current status from that of an un-registered Charity to that of a Registered Charity, in order to take on the responsibilities of land-ownership.
-...The Medium-term Strategy - (years 3 to 5.) :
This is to consist of a focus on the initial clearance of all specific features on or within the core area of the Heritage Site and to identify the necessary level and syle of their development as a functional collective educational and scientific resource.

[Superimposed on both the Short and Medium-term Strategies will be the currently identified and specified Phase 1. of initial development. This Phase of the initial development of the core area of the Heritage Site is comprised of the slow but gradual development of the Project through many distinct and easily identifiable Stages.]

-...The Long-term Strategy - (year 6 onwards) :
This consists of the full development of the core area of the Heritage Site as a fully accessible and competently-managed educational, scientific and academic resource.
The current thinking is also to bring together all relevant parcels of land into a single, manageable Heritage Site, without compromising the practical and legal integrity or access-security of the separate land-ownerships and land-leases and to carry out conservation / preservation work on the relevant caves or cave areas identified in each parcel of land.
Participation by all land-owners and leaseholders would be purely voluntary and this concept could only work with their goodwill and positive interest and understanding. The multi-phase proposal is a practical approach to the gradual development of the strategy through time and can even accomodate future "changes of mind" on behalf of new as well as existing landowner participants, as to whether or not they wish to participate.

Much more to follow .... |....CBC Section 15.....|....Cattedown Homepage....|....Next - CBC Section 17....|