A community archaeology project launched in Blacon this week aiming to discover more about the history of the area and tackle health issues.
The project, called Dig Blacon, is being organised by an award-winning team of archaeologists from Chester-based Big Heritage, and has been part-funded by the Cheshire West and Chester Public Health Team.
The project will see residents taking part in geophysical surveys, excavation, finds processing and eventually a community publication.
Project manager at Big Heritage, Jo Kirton, said “We are focussing our work around St Theresa’s Primary School and the surrounding area, as this spot is one of the oldest parts of Blacon that we know of.
“We’ve already started with a geophysical survey and the response from local people has been phenomenal, although one concerned bystander thought the we may have been surveying for fracking sites!”
Uniquely, the project is being supported by the Public Health Team, which has recognised the health and wellbeing impact of local heritage projects within a community.
A number of volunteers will be monitored by smart-watches to track activity and the Big Heritage team will be working with community groups to target socially isolated individuals to volunteer.
Alongside physical activity, Dig Blacon will offer mental stimulation and opportunities for social interaction amongst a spectrum of residents.
It is believed to be the first archaeological project in the UK that specifically targets health inequalities.
Dig Blacon will be running up until October. To volunteer for the project, visit BigHeritage.co.uk/DigBlacon or phone 01244 515 568