WARNING: I have safety training and permission from Range Control to access these parts of the OTA. If you want to visit the OTA you must follow all safety and access guidelines and the byelaws.
I’ve started my PhD fieldwork! During the lambing break (15th April – 15th May), there is no live firing in the central part of the OTA, so this is my window to go and look at some of my case studies in this area. I hope to look at case studies in the dry training area a little later this year.
For the last two days I have been completing my safety training and confirming my case study locations, reporting on my progress since last year, and finally getting out and about! Note: If you want to visit the OTA, you MUST abide by the safety regulations.
I started at Bellshiel Law long cairn. This Scheduled Monument is clearly marked by a fence, out of bounds signs and No Digging “Star of David” signs. Just nearby is the Bellshiel Law cairn field, marked by two No Digging stars.
The aim of my fieldwork is to look for evidence of training practice around archaeological features, to see how soldiers work around these sites – do they avoid them, incorporate them? – and whether this has changed over time.
In amongst all this, Spring is definitely happening – I saw dozens of fat healthy lambs and often heard the roar of an ATV as the farmer did his rounds amongst the flocks.
I’m very grateful for the support and welcome from both the NNPA and OTA staff and leadership, as I would not be able to do this research without their permission and advice.