A VERY special historical experiment is to take place next month when communication is attempted between 10 ancient hillforts.
On Sunday, December 5, members of North East Wales’ Heather and Hillforts Project and Cheshire West and Chester’s Habitats and Hillforts Project will be heading for the hills.
The experiment will involve local people close to 10 hillforts on the Sandstone Ridge, the Clwydian Range, Halkyn Mountain and the Wirral, trying to communicate between the hillforts using torch light.
Flares will be launched from the hillforts followed by torch light at Maiden Castle, Beeston Castle, Kelsborrow, Helsby, Burton Point, Moel y Gaer Rhosesmor, Penycloddiau, Moel Arthur, Moel Fenlli and Caer Drewyn.
Iron Age settlements can be found on many of the summits of the Sandstone Ridge, Clwydian Range and surrounding hills, dating back around 2,500 years.
Most of the hillforts across the surrounding landscape can be seen from each other. The experiment is aiming to see if the glowing fires could have been seen across the hills and acted as a communication or warning system.
Volunteers will be invited to help with the experiment by manning each hilltop and signalling with torches in an attempt to make contact across the landscape.
Places are strictly limited, so to register to help as a volunteer for your local hillfort, visit www.heatherandhillforts.co.uk. Once registered, volunteers will be sent information packs with exact timings to meet and what to bring.
Further details about the Hillfort Glow can be found at the newly launched Habitats and Hillforts website – www. habitatsandhillforts.co.uk.
Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, said: “This is such an exciting and visual experiment. Possibly the last time these hillforts were connected in such a way was over 2,000 years ago.”
The scheme is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cheshire West and Chester Council and is supported by dedicated partners including Cheshire Community Action, English Heritage, Forestry Commission, National Trust, Woodland Trust, Cheshire Landscape Trust and private landowners, as well as the Mersey Forest which are all dedicated to the overall success of the three year project.