CSI Allotment

Yesterday, Sunday March 20, 2016 I got to the allotment at around noon with the intention of transplanting the horseradish plant from the middle of the allotment across to the rhubarb line. As is usual, this whole episode took longer than expected. This time it was around 4 hours.

I thought that the main problem was going to be containing the horseradish plant once it had been moved: the thing was spreading like a weed and needed to have a boundary of some kind to stop it from taking over the whole of the plot.

I had bought a small, tall,  plastic bin and cut the end off as a temporary fence…  to be dug into the soil like a sunken pot. It turned out this was not the major work. That ended up as being the removal of the horseradish plant in the first place.


A large hole was needed to get all of the roots out. Approximately 5 feet square and 5 feet deep. It was so big in the end, I had trouble getting out of the hole after I had dug it.


My fairly small bin turned out to be a little bit small. But I dug it into the row along with the rhubarb plants anyway. At least for the moment, the container would have to do… Until I got a larger one.


I don’t think I got all of the roots in the end, but I think I got the majority of them. Hopefully it would not spread any further.

I collected as many of the offshoots I could.


I then transplanted the horseradish plant across into the new location.


It was around this time, while digging around for some little pieces of remaining horseradish roots that my fork hit something in the corner of the hole. I had passed through some burnt areas and I already knew this portion of the allotment had been turned before because there were more stones in this side.

My next fork turned up some pottery and while I was filtering the soil for more roots …  something else… a tooth and a bone…. Um.


I dug around some more but apart from a few more bits of pottery, there was nothing else. So I packed up and got ready to go home, I put the tooth and bone into a plastic bottle and hid it in my compost bin. I didn’t want to take it home and I didn’t really know what else to do with them.

When I finally got home, I looked up on the Internet what should be done of you dig up some bones and it said, contact the police – so I did.

Within about 50 minutes the Forensics lab had called me back and wanted to pick up the pieces because “they were in the area”. Could I meet them at the allotment and show them please?

Er, yeah, okay.

So a forensics girl turned up in a large police van with Police Forensics team on the side and I showed her where I had hidden the fragments: she took photos and bagged them all up then just said, “if you find any more please let us know”. That was it.

Who knows…

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