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Sleights Pasture Round Cairn blog

Day 1 - Friday 3 September 2021
After many preparatory visits to this large prehistoric cairn site we finally begin the measured survey. This is a massive complex site - though not as large as it once was, having been half destroyed in the late 18th and early 19th century by quarrying and excavation. 

Dull leaden sky, though thankfully not much wind for Ribblehead – surely the largest natural wind tunnel in the Dales. Usually you can have this place to yourself, but today arrived to see packs of red-jacketed men in the adjacent field with dogs – Fell Rescue training their canine counterparts. If anyone breaks a leg today, no worries for us it seems!

Today the task was to throw a 5m grid over the site using the Total Station. This will be used to anchor the baseline tapes and improve accuracy. John and Bob did all the technical stuff (a maths degree is required for this!) and a North-South and East-West line established across the centre (the Cardinal points) followed by the Ordinals (NE, NW, SE, SW). After this the maths got really complicated, so we resorted to extrapolating 5m points with tapes from the known set points. Job done, ready for the survey start next week.

However the greatest success of the day was finding a lost piece of twine, which helps keep together three important survey poles and was dropped on the way out to the field. Happiness, it seems, is a piece of string.

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