• Creswell Crags, Derbyshire

Creswell Crags, Derbyshire

Amazing as it may seem, Creswell Crags has been attracting visitors for 40,000 – 60,000 years and still remains popular today.

While modern trippers include eager school children, families, walkers and archaeologists, the original visitors were groups of Neanderthals on short summer hunting trips to the northern-most extremity of their range. Aurochs (the ancestors of modern domestic cattle) and woolly rhinoceros were to be found in the limestone gorge and in the surrounding countryside in Middle Palaeolithic times and no doubt made for good eating. The honeycomb of caves and smaller fissures along the gorge provided shelter for the hunters.

These days, Creswell Crags offers far more comfortable visitor facilities, together with an impressive modern museum - as befits one of the UK's most important archaeological sites - with displays of Ice Age stone tools and animal remains. There's also a country park and wildlife centre. Viridor Credits' involvement with the site relates to the new Community Bridge, which it has supported jointly with Lafarge Aggregates. A donation of £33,000 was made as a Landfill Communities Fund award in partnership with Derbyshire Environmental Trust and in celebration of the Trust's 10th anniversary.

The bridge links the new visitor centre complex, (which was opened in the summer of 2009 by Sir David Attenborough) with the prehistoric landscape. It is decorated with plaques that were designed by local school children from Whitwell, Creswell and Clowne, local community groups and by local oak artist David Judd, with the benefit of the LCF funding.

Each interpretation panel carries an image depicting the wonderful wildlife that inhabits our waterways and links this in to the journey from the neighbouring villages through the inspiring landscape to the new centre. The bridge itself was designed by OMI architects to allow visitors to view the ecology of the stream channel as if they are in a hide.

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