History of Cannock Chase to be unearthed

Thousands of years of history could be uncovered in a new project at one of Staffordshire’s natural treasures.

Cannock Chase has one of the best preserved Great War training landscapes in the country and is the largest remaining area of heathland in the West Midlands, but lost beneath the vegetation are prehistoric burial mounds, early industrial sites, remnants of a medieval hunting forest, as well as evidence of a nation making ready for war.The Chase Through Time Project will make use of state-of-the-art LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology attached to an aircraft to survey the area from several thousand feet.

The Chase
Trenches were recreated on Cannock Chase for soldiers to train on during the Great War
Chase now
How the Chase looks today

Staffordshire County Council, in partnership with Historic England will deliver the project with a £96k grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Councillor Mark Winnington, cabinet member for economic growth at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Cannock Chase is a jewel in the crown of Staffordshire.

“It’s a well-loved Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but it is also a rich tapestry of undiscovered history and could be hiding some of the best preserved Great War archaeology in the country.

“The best part about this project is that using state-of-the-art technology we can uncover some of the county’s lost past without digging up and damaging any part of it.

“It’s a great step towards protecting the Chase’s natural splendour and preserving its history for the future.

“Photographs from the Chase’s history will also become very important as this project goes on. If you have any old photos of the Chase, please get in touch and help us piece together the stories we find.”

All of this work will culminate in a touring exhibition, mobile app and other interpretive material.

To get involved in the project email Stephen.dean@staff ordshire.gov.uk.

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