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.
INTRODUCTION TO THE NEED FOR AND THE BENEFITS OF A "CATTEDOWN BONE CAVES
HERITAGE SITE" :
16.1.1. The Concept :
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
16.1.2. The Strategy for Implementation of the "Cattedown Bone Caves
Heritage Site" Project :
Short-term Strategy - (years 1 and 2.)
consists of two main objectives being pursued simultaneously, each of which
supports the other.
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.
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.
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.
Strategy - (years 3 to 5.) :
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.
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
Strategy - (year 6 onwards) :
consists of the full development of the core area of the Heritage Site
as a fully accessible and competently-managed educational, scientific and
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.
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.