This summer South Wiltshire locals can volunteer on an exciting new project, exploring the past of Salisbury Plain.  

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and run by Wessex Archaeology, Project Florence aims to involve the local community in telling the story of an ancient burial site.

The project focuses on the excavation of a 1400 year old Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Barrow Clump on Salisbury Plain.  This excavation is part of Operation Nightingale, an innovative rehabilitation programme for soldiers injured in Afghanistan.   Over 100 injured soldiers from the Rifles will be trained in excavation skills, funded by the military and supervised by Wessex Archaeology, 1st Rifles and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

The excavation, sited on the military training grounds, would normally be out of bounds for civilians. However, Project Florence invites local people to explore the results of the excavation and get involved in a range of volunteering opportunities, events and activities throughout 2012. 


Volunteers can visit the excavation in June and July to discover what stories it has to tell. You can gain skills and experience over the course of the year in a range of activities designed to tell a wider audience about the site.  Activities range from developing an exhibition about the project to running road show events in their local community.

In the next couple of months the project needs volunteers who can help create and run family events at the excavation to allow locals a chance to explore this amazing site.

For those interested in developing their IT skills there will be opportunities to get hands-on experience of creating and publishing blogs, podcasts and short films. 

Collaborating with Salisbury Arts Centre, Project Florence also offers 14 to 25 year olds the chance to make a film about the excavations and achieve an Arts Award certificate. The young volunteers will learn new skills in filming, sound recording and editing, and will get a say in film-making decisions and processes. Salisbury Arts Centre will premier the film in November.  

Volunteers can get involved in any or all of the activities on offer. To volunteer or for more information please contact Laura Joyner, Project Florence Officer, on 07872 419331 or email  Further information is available on the project website

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