Skip to main content
Home > Projects > Lost Redesdale > Otterburn Training Area: Exercise Border Reiver/Exercise Lidar Truth

Otterburn Training Area: Exercise Border Reiver/Exercise Lidar Truth

This project involves working with our partners at the Ministry of Defence and Breaking Ground Heritage to investigate the rich archaeology of the Otterburn Training Area. Local volunteers have been taking part in archaeological investigations together with participants from Operation Nightingale, an MoD initiative to assist the recovery of wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans.

The project aims to provide volunteers from the local community and veterans from the military community with a high-quality experience of archaeological fieldwork through ‘on-the job’ training in archaeological fieldwork techniques.

Exercise Border Reiver

In August 2019, 25 volunteersexcavated possible prehistoric features at Bellshiel Rigg, led by Wessex Archaeology. The participants learnt archaeological skills in geophysical survey, metric survey and osteology over the course of the two weeks, as well as developing their ‘soft skills’ through coaching from Wessex Archaeology staff. All the features were found to probably post-date the late Iron Age/Roman period. You can read the excavation report here.

Exercise Lidar Truth

A second excavation took place in September 2020, led by Wessex Archaeology, with volunteers and Operation Nightingale participants, examining two possible prehistoric features that were identified as part of the Lidar Landscapes project. Post excavation and reporting is ongoing and more details will be published here in due course.

Further investigations are being planned for 2021 and will be advertised on the events page and on social media.

Find out more about being a field archaeology volunteer.


Discover Redesdale, browse the interactive map and view points of interest, pictures and text, or even add your own information!


Revitalising Redesdale Partners are delivering a range of projects to “inspire and enable us all to care for Redesdale."

What's On

There are many events covering a wide range of topics and activities, find out what's on in Redesdale over the next few months.

Mailing List

For the most up-to-date information on events and volunteer activities, sign up to our mailing list and recieve them direct to your inbox. To find out how we use your data, read our Privacy Notice.