Mellor Heritage Project (Great Manchester, England, UK)

Construction time

  • Pre-history – 3500 BC (Brown Low Cairn, Ludworth Intakes Cairn, Shaw Age)
  • Ancient history – 800 BC (Mellor Hillfort)
  • Postclassical era – 1200 AD (Mellor Church)
  • Mid modern period – 1790 AD (Mellor Mill)

The chief environmental threats to heritage sites within the UK are through coastal processes, inland water inundation, extremes of wetting and drying, fire, diseases and pests, and urban heat islands. Added to this are risk multipliers from climate change and human action. The Trustees (Management of the trust) need preventative tools and analyses based on predictive modelling and alerts, as well as on environmental and sensor based data. In particular, what is of interest is the use of non-intrusive sensors to monitor risk factors, and which could measure and then inform stakeholders of the state of the heritage site in real time.

The main environmental threats to heritage sites identified to Mellor are temperature changes, soil erosion, water and storm damage in one part as well as vegetation growing and weathering of Roman and stone-age structures plus extremes of wetting and drying, fire, diseases and pests, and urban heat islands. Added to this are risk multipliers from climate change and human action.

The site uses its own acoustic sensors for measuring changes in ecosystem environments relevant to Mellor such as soil erosion, etc. For acoustic wave devices the change in oscillation frequency when the device responds to the input stimulus is monitored. The input stimulus could be physical such as a changing pressure, temperature, or stress. It could be chemical such as a particular gas concentration or simply the presence of a chemical agent. It could also be biological; examples of which could be the concentration of particular type of bacteria, the presence of a biological agent, or even the concentration of antibodies for a particular type of disease. Finally, it could also be electrical such as the strength of an electric or magnetic field or a changing conductivity. This would be linked to UAV and emergency services with automatic trigger points.

Mellor Weather Stations

 

The Mellor pilot site consists of three individual areas of interest that are in locations  with unique micro-climatic conditions:

  1. Mellor Mill (burned down remains of an old Industrial period Mill) which is located at 100 m a.s.l.,  the bottom of a steep sided valley.
  2. Mellor Vicarage site (Iron-Age ditch and reconstructed roundhouse) is located around 200 m a.s.l., on a hillside overlooking the city of Manchester.
  3. Shaw Cairn (Bronze-Age burial site) is located on top of Mellor Moor, 327 m a.s.l., a location highly exposed to extreme weather.

Three Davis Vantage Pro2 weather stations are taking 15-minute observations of the following parameters:

  • Air temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Relative humidity
  • Barometric pressure
  • Wind Speed
  • Wind Direction