ARMY OF LOCAL VOLUNTEERS MOBILISED TO GIVE THE LUNT SOME LOVE!
60 volunteers, drawn from the Prince’s Trust and colleagues from local Asda stores, formed an army to give the Lunt Roman Fort in Baginton some much-needed love.
On Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th August, the volunteers achieved the monumental task of completely repainting the site's unique ancient circular horse-training arena, known as the Gyrus. As well as this vital conservation work, the volunteers also undertook a number of important gardening tasks around the site, which included weeding some of the concrete remains, revealing where the ancient buildings once stood.
The volunteers were drawn from Asda's Whitley store, as well as colleagues and managers from up to 22 other stores across the region, as part of the supermarket’s ‘Big Litter Pick’ community clean up initiative. The Asda volunteers were joined by Team 104 of the Prince's Trust at Henley College, who are undertaking the work as part of The Prince's Trust Team programme.
The challenge of gardening the site and repainting the 34-metre diameter Gyrus was dreamt up by Kim Evans, Community Life Champion at Asda in Whitley, after she visited the Lunt Roman Fort for a special Roman Weekend in June:
"I had a wonderful time at the Lunt Roman Weekend, and was really impressed by what an incredible historical resource it is for people in our local area. My role at Asda is all about finding different ways of helping our immediate community, and it struck me that by mobilising an army of volunteers to get this work done, we could make a massive difference to the site in just a couple of days."
The Lunt Fort is the only fort in the Roman Empire to have a Gyrus, and it stands at what would have been the heart of the fort's structure. The fort was built around A.D. 60 after the Romans defeated the Iceni tribe of East Anglia and the Trinovantes tribe from Essex and Suffolk, who were led by the legendary Boudicca. The Gyrus was used to train captured horses and possibly their auxiliary riders as well.
Emma MacLellan, Head of Development at Culture Coventry, the trust which looks after the Lunt, said:
"The Lunt is a superb resource for the many thousands of young people who visit each year as part of school groups, as well as being enjoyed by a huge amount of adult visitors throughout the year. This conservation work is absolutely vital for the future of the site, but without the help of the ASDA and Prince's Trust volunteers it would have been very difficult for us to undertake the work ourselves."
In addition to providing the manual labour for the work at the Lunt Fort, Asda also donated fence paint and brushes, as well as including the Fort on their 'Chosen By You, Given By Us' board at the Whitley store. Customers at the store can use their green tokens during July and August, to vote for a local charity to win either £50 or £200 towards their work.
The Lunt is open to visitors throughout the school holidays, on Tuesdays to Fridays each week. Admission is £3.75 for adults, £3 for concessions, £11 for a family of up to two adults and four children. Children aged under 4 are FREE.
To find out more about Coventry's historic Roman attraction, visit www.luntromanfort.org.