High Royds Hospital

Agri-Environment Schemes

"More than 6,000 archaeological features on farmland are protected under the schemes, including more than half of all scheduled monuments and registered battlefields" Natural England Agri-Environment Schemes report 2009.

Agri-environment schemes are open to all farmers across the UK (procedures vary) and funded by the Government and the European Union. . In England, many farmers and land managers have agreed to enter into Environmental Stewardship (ES) . This is a voluntary management agreement with Natural England to farm in an environmentally sensitive way which will protect wildlife, landscapes, historic features and natural resources (soils and water) , as well as provide new opportunities for public access.

There are three key forms of Stewardship - Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) , Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS) and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) - each offering the potential for a wide range of historic environment projects.

At NAA we can help you in a number of ways with your application for agri-environment funding. In the first instance we can contribute to the preparation of your Farm Environment Record (FER) or Plan (FEP) by identifying all the known (and potential) sites on your land and assessing their condition, including historic farm buildings. We can then produce a long-term management and maintenance programme for the sites on your estate and work with you to identify applicable options under the scheme. We can also help with established schemes and programmes including farm building restoration and wall and boundary maintenance.

Buildings at Risk

A Building at Risk (BaR) may be any structure recognised to contribute to the historic character of an area which has been identified as being at risk through neglect and decay. This can range from the semi-ruinous to buildings just in desperate need of a number of smaller minor repairs. Buildings at Risk may be lived in or uninhabited and range from grade 1 listed castles to unlisted colliery stables.

English Heritage maintain a Buildings at Risk Register which records all grade I and grade II* listed buildings; this currently contains 968 buildings (EH 2010 Heritage at Risk Report). These are all considered to be at considerable risk of damage or loss if urgent steps are not taken to stabilise their condition.

A number of grants are available to help restore Buildings at Risk and our staff can advise and guide you through the appropriate planning applications and funding sources. We can also help if you have been served with an urgent works notice, and advise what this means and how you need to respond.

Buildings of Local Interest

Within many of our towns, cities and villages there are a large number of unlisted buildings of considerable local architectural and/or historic interest and importance, many dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. While these buildings may not meet the national criteria for statutory listing they do contribute to the richness and character of an area and may be of significant interest in terms of its historical and architectural development. In order to safeguard such buildings and to ensure that repairs, alterations and extensions are sympathetic to their character, many local planning authorities compile, publish and maintain a List of Buildings of Local Architectural or Historic Interest - known as the 'local list'.

Buildings of local interest have no statutory protection although they are considered to be heritage assets as defined by Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS 5). Although the list of buildings of local interest is advisory only and does not provide the council with extra powers, if the list has been subject to public consultation and included in a local plan, it does constitute a material planning consideration in the determining of applications under the Town and Country Planning Acts.

Many alterations and developments require planning and local authorities will seek to use existing powers to preserve the special characteristics of buildings of local interest when considering applications for planning permission. Proposals relating to buildings of local interest should therefore pay special attention to preserving features that contribute to their character, maintaining proportions, preserving the setting and using appropriate materials.

NAA has the in-house expertise to provide advice to local authorities wishing to compile, review, or update a local list as part of Conservation Area Appraisals, Local Development Frameworks and HER enhancement. Similarly, if you live in a property that appears on the local list and would like further advice on a submitting a planning application then please contact us.

Further details on Significance and PPS 5 can be found on the English Heritage website

Bulk Finds Analysis

Archaeologists refer to a whole miscellany of materials and objects collected during an excavation as 'bulk finds'. These might include: pottery, building materials - slate, tile and brick (often referred to as CBM or ceramic building material) and dressed stone - glass, claypipes, debris from metal working (such as slag, hammerscale, hearth bottoms), iron, shells and animal bone. Human skeletal remains are dealt with separately (see Burial Archaeology).

Pottery, whilst usually collected separately, is also a bulk find. This is perhaps the most abundant find on an excavation and is an invaluable dating tool. Existing type assemblages enable specialists to date a site fairly accurately by the volume and nature of the material found, as well as identifying trading patterns and wealth.

Bulk finds can reveal a great deal about the past and are collected and analysed for various reasons. At NAA we process much of our own bulk finds in-house and provide preliminary assessment of a range of material; where necessary, detailed analysis and reporting is undertaken by external specialists.

Burial Archaeology (Osteoarchaeology)

Osteoarchaeology is the study of human skeletal remains, and is usually combined with an analysis of funerary practice i.e. what the body was buried with and how. This form of specialist excavation and analysis can contribute a great deal to our understanding of our ancestors; revealing an individual's age, sex, diet, illnesses, and activities as well as evidence relating to social organisation, culture and religion. All burial sites whether prehistoric or modern are protected by law and a burial licence needs to be obtained from the Ministry of Justice before any burials can be removed from the ground. Excavation and re-internment of remains have to be carried out in accordance with the licence conditions.

NAA has undertaken numerous large and small-scale burial excavations covering a range of different periods. We have in-house facilities for processing material recovered from excavation and also for undertaking a preliminary assessment of remains before submitting them for detailed analysis to external specialists.

Conditions Survey and Monitoring

Our historic environment sites are set within a dynamic landscape which is constantly prone to change. Many are located in exposed areas where they are at constant risk from the elements as well as changes in land management, but even features in our towns and villages can be damaged either intentionally or unintentionally.

Successful heritage asset management is dependent on regular condition reviews which aim to assess the state of a feature, identify any potential risks and issues, and make recommendations to mitigate any problems in the future. This exercise should not be a one-off event but rather a scheduled programme of periodic review - ideally over five years or less - in order to evaluate how a management strategy is working on the ground.

NAA has undertaken various forms of condition surveys for both private and public sector clients. These have ranged from the review of single buildings to survey of multiple monuments spread across extensive areas of upland landscape.

Conservation Area (Character) Appraisals

"Historic areas are now extensively recognised for the contribution they make to our cultural inheritance, economic well-being and quality of life" English Heritage 2006

The designation of a conservation area is not an end in itself but rather the beginning of a process of long-term management, periodic assessment and community review. Local authorities, who manage our Conservation Areas, are required to develop policies which clearly identify what features of an area are significant and contribute to local distinctiveness, as well as how these can be best preserved or enhanced through a sound management strategy.

A Conservation Area Appraisal sets out what makes an area special and the actions which need to be taken to protect it. Ideally an assessment is prepared before an area is designated but in a large number of cases this has not proved possible. An appraisal is, therefore, an opportunity to re-assess a designated area and increasing community involvement and awareness of significance. A clear, comprehensive character appraisal also provides a sound basis for the development of sustainable regeneration initiatives.

Our staff at NAA provide a range of Conservation Area services including the production of appraisals, undertaking public consultation and Article 4 advice and design guides.

Conservation Management Plans

"At its simplest, conservation planning is a way of thinking about heritage in a structured way" Kate Clark, 2005

A Conservation Management Plan (CMP) sets out to understand why a heritage asset is important and to whom. It looks at the significance of a site from a whole range of different aspects - often including archaeology, architecture, landscape, ecology, history and community - and uses this information to formulate a management and maintenance strategy to ensure preservation into the future.

A CMP is required for any Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid of over 1 million pounds but they are increasingly being used to help preserve and protect heritage sites across the board. They can be applied to a whole range of heritage assets from single buildings to parklands or industrial landscapes.

The preparation of a plan frequently involves pulling together a multi-disciplinary team as well as extensive public (stakeholder) consultation. The latter is particularly important in ensuring the production of a workable programme which can be adopted and taken forward.

NAA has experience of both co-ordinating, and contributing to a range of Conservation Management Plans including work for the National Trust and the North East Civic Trust.

For further information on Conservation Management Plans (2008) visit the HLF website

Design and Access Statements

Design and Access Statements (DAS) are intended to provide the local planning authority with the information they need to assess the likely effect of any development proposal on an area, and allow them to make informed and balanced decisions about an application. They are intended to show the planners the thinking behind a development and what will be the long-term public benefits of a project. A consideration of impact on the historic environment is a key element of this process. New planning policy guidance (PPS 5), issued in March 2010, stresses the importance of assessing the significance of heritage assets as part of a Design Access Statement, requiring the commissioning of a Statement of Significance as part of the development process for any applications that might affect a Heritage Asset

NAA can contribute in a number of ways to the preparation of a DAS. We provide Statements of Significance or Justification Statements considering ways in which your development may enhance, protect or impact on the historic character of an area. We can also work together with your design team to look at ways to incorporate period design and local heritage features to enhance your proposals and make a positive contribution to the historic environment.

Environmental Archaeology

This is the study of the ecology of the past, especially how human beings interacted with the environment. It is a blanket-term that encompasses the study and analysis of botanical remains, charcoal, wood, pollen, phytoliths, molluscs, animal bone, ostracods, foraminifera, diatoms, parasites, and insects, amongst others. Most of these can be recovered from soil samples taken during excavation. Such material can provide important evidence about the nature of past societies - what they grew, ate and the kind of environment in which they lived.

At NAA we have in-house facilities to process palaeoenvironmental material both quickly and cost-effectively. We have an in-house palaeobotanist and a close working relationship with other palaeoenvironmental specialists who will undertake the analysis and reporting on the ecofacts recovered during processing.

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)

Environmental Impact Assessment is an important tool in helping reconcile new developments with environmental protection and give planning authorities a means of ensuring that they can take account of the environmental implications of individual developments in their decisions on planning applications. Although it is an instrument that ultimately seeks to avoid adverse environmental impacts and enhance positive effects, in practice, its main role is often to reduce and mitigate. The identification of significant impacts on material heritage assets arising from either the construction or operation phases of development is undertaken using a combination of desk-based assessment and field evaluation where appropriate. Mitigation of impacts is an integral part of the assessment and by hierarchy aims at avoiding, reducing or remedying impacts. In order to fully understand impacts there is often a need to liaise closely with specialists dealing with landscape and visual impacts, noise, traffic, aboriculture and ecology.

The requirement for Environmental Impact Assessment is defined by European Union Directives (85/337/EEC amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC) and incorporated into UK legislation through various Regulations or 'Statutory Instruments'. The EIA Regulations cover both compulsory (Schedule 1) and non-compulsory (Schedule 2) types of development. Schedule 4 sets out information requirements for inclusion within Environmental Statements (ES) and this includes the requirement for a description of the material assets - architectural and archaeological heritage, landscape and the inter-relationship between the above factors - that are likely to be significantly affected by the development (Part 1 (3)).

NAA have been involved with numerous developments which require an Environmental Impact Assessment and we can provide specialist expertise for the duration of the process from seeking scoping opinions through to Public Inquiry.


Fieldwalking is a non-intrusive form of archaeological investigation and when used in conjunction with geophysical survey and metal detecting survey, can be a rapid and cost-effective tool for evaluating the potential effects of large area developments on sub-surface archaeological remains. It is used to help identify areas which require further investigation through trial trenching or perhaps strip, map and sample. It is only suitable for use within fields that have been recently ploughed and harrowed and where crop growth is minimal.

Survey involves a team of archaeologists systematically walking across an area collecting and recording surface finds of pottery, flint, bone etc. This information is then plotted, analysed and collated. The resulting distribution patterns can help identify archaeological remains which are perhaps only surviving within the plough-zone or buried sites which are being actively eroded and damaged by ploughing. It can provide information on the location, character, period and extent of sub-surface remains and usually forms part of a staged programme of non-intrusive and intrusive site evaluation undertaken in support of a planning application or Environmental Impact Assessment.

The success of fieldwalking is, however, variable and depends on the depth at which sites are buried, the period and type of site and the presence of durable artefactual material, and these factors will vary from region to region. Within some areas, it can be particularly effective in identifying the presence of some forms of early prehistoric, Roman and medieval remains, but within many areas of the country it is a poor technique for locating Saxon and Iron Age sites due to their often low level of artefactual material.

NAA is experienced at undertaking programmes of rapid and intensive fieldwalking associated with both linear corridor and area developments and would be happy to advise on the suitability of the technique for a particular scheme.

Geo-archaeological Surveys

Geo-archaeological surveys are undertaken where there are well-preserved late-glacial and post-glacial deposit sequences. These sequences can provide valuable information in relation to changes in vegetation, climate and landscape during the last 12,000 years since the last Ice Age. They can vary in thickness from 0.5m to several metres and are of particular importance where they include significant organic deposits and are in association with evidence for human activity. They can occur in a wide variety of circumstances including former river channels, lakes, meres, peatlands as well as in estuarine and marine environments.

Where a desk-based assessment has identified the potential for well-preserved deposit sequences, the local planning archaeologist may request a programme of geo-archaeological evaluation as part of the evaluation phase of your project. This work is normally required pre-determination.

An initial characterisation of deposits is undertaken through auger survey and preliminary assessment of the resulting core samples. Where significant sequences are identified, more detailed characterisation is likely to require the mechanical excavation of test pits in order to expose an accessible section through the deposits for further sampling. The aim of this sampling is to understand the significance of the deposits in terms of their potential to provide information on the chronological framework for deposition, and the evidence they contain for pollen, plant, insects, snails and soil formation and deposition processes.

This type of survey often requires a multi-disciplinary team and NAA will engage the services of palaeoecological, geoarchaeological and geological specialists as appropriate.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based tool for mapping, collating and analysing spatial information. It integrates the storage of text based information found in more traditional databases with spatial areas and visual data like maps and photographs. This means that material can be queried and searched across a region, landscape or site. It is this capacity that has seen GIS become an important tool in archaeology and heritage management over the last 20 years.

Heritage Environment Records which comprise data relating to heritage assets are now commonly incorporated into Geographic Information Systems held by most County Councils and local planning authorities, allowing a range of information to be searched according to a region. These can also include Historic Landscape Characterisation information.

At NAA we can provide a range of GIS services. At a basic level, our field surveys can include digitised layers and themes to fit in with an existing GIS but we can include additional data such as land use, potential issues and monument condition helping facilitate future long-term management. We have experience of a range of applications and software including MapInfo, Arcview and AutoCAD Map.

Geophysical Survey

Geophysical survey is a non-intrusive form of investigation and can be a rapid and cost-effective method of identifying and mapping sub-surface archaeological remains. It can provide useful information on the location, extent, character and possible period of sub-surface remains. This information can then be used to try and avoid or reduce impact on archaeology through scheme design, thus reducing archaeological costs, or help with the identification of areas requiring further investigation through trial trenching, strip, map and sample or excavation. Geophysical survey usually forms part of a staged programme of non-intrusive and intrusive site evaluation undertaken in support of a planning application or Environmental Impact Assessment.

The most commonly used geophysical survey techniques applied to archaeology are gradiometer survey (sometimes called magnetometer), resistivity survey and ground penetrating radar (GPR). All three survey techniques are only suitable for use within areas where crop or grass growth is less than 30cm in height and therefore timing of the work has to be carefully programmed particularly in arable areas. They are not suitable for use on ground covered by trees, shrubs or other forms of dense vegetation, or where the ground has been previously disturbed or is likely to contain significant quantities of modern material such as building rubble, ferrous material or burnt remains. It is also important to remember that geophysical survey can only prove the presence of archaeological features at any specific site but it cannot be used to infer their absence.

Gradiometer Survey:
involves traversing an area along regularly spaced linear transects systematically recording small fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field. The technique is particularly suited to the detection of sub-surface archaeological features such as ditches, large pits, kilns, ovens, areas of human occupation and palaeochannels. This technique can be adversely affected by the presence of near surface ferrous litter and services such as pylons, pipelines or cables within the survey area. Two forms of gradiometer survey can be employed in archaeological surveys; scanning, which involves the rapid appraisal of a site with the aim of identifying areas of archaeological potential, and detailed survey which aims to map areas of archaeological features in the attempt to clarify the nature of, and delimit the extents of any archaeological features which may exist. Collection of data during detailed survey is quick and with the introduction of multiple sensor instruments, up to 3ha can be investigated in one day.

Resistivity Survey:
The "Twin-Probe" electrode system is the most frequently used resistivity configuration employed in archaeological surveys and involves the injection of an electrical current through the earth and the measurement of the subtle sub-surface variations in ground resistance. The technique is particularly suited to the detection of buried buildings and structural remains. However, this technique can be adversely affected by localised variations in geological conditions.

Ground Penetrating Radar:
(GPR): GPR is a relatively less frequently used technique which can be useful for detecting the presence and depth below ground of structural foundations; voids such as mine shafts and culverts; underground services, pipes or cables; bedrock and water table levels. Unlike other forms of geophysical survey, it can also be used within most urban environments providing there are no areas of heavily reinforced concrete. The method utilises the differential absorption and reflection characteristic of electromagnetic radiation at contrasting interfaces.

Marine environments:
Geophysical survey is also used in marine or underwater archaeology. Magnetometers and a variety of sonar instruments are used for locating shipwrecks and other submerged archaeological features. Typically, data is collected from boats or towed sensors. Although there are broad similarities between underwater and terrestrial geophysics, they employ specialised techniques and the logistics of marine surveys are more complex, and as a result they are usually considered to be separate disciplines.

NAA has considerable experience of commissioning archaeological geophysical surveys on behalf of clients and can advise on the most appropriate survey techniques to be employed to meet the specific requirements of a development scheme.

Heritage Asset

Planning Policy Statement 5 states that heritage assets are valued components of the historic environment. The term embraces all manner of features including buildings, monuments, standing, buried and submerged archaeological remains, parks and gardens, and other areas, sites, places and landscapes positively identified as having a degree of archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic interest meriting consideration in planning decisions. They include designated heritage assets (World Heritage Sites, Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings, Protected Wreck Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields and Conservation Areas) and undesignated assets identified by the local planning authority as being of value to this and future generations because of their heritage interest.

Further details on Heritage Assets and PPS 5 can be found on the English Heritage website

Heritage Lottery Fund

"Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund gives grants to sustain and transform our heritage. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions we invest in every part of our diverse heritage."

The HLF is now the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK, investing around £205 million a year and contributing to over 30,000 projects ranging from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions. The HLF run a number of funding schemes starting from upwards of £3,000. All are open to not-for-profit organisations and aimed at improving community involvement, education, sustainable regeneration and conservation.

NAA has been involved in a number of successful HLF funded projects. Do give us a call if you would like to talk through how we might contribute to your project, or for help in the preparation of a funding bid.

Heritage Significance

Significance is a key term within Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS 5) and is used as a term to sum-up the qualities that make an otherwise ordinary place a heritage asset. Annex 2 of the PPS defines 'significance' as:

"The value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. That interest may be archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic"

The supporting English Heritage planning practice guidance advises that:

"Applications will have a greater likelihood of success and better decisions will be made when applicants and local planning authorities assess and understand the particular nature of the significance of an asset, the extent of the asset's fabric to which the significance relates and the level of importance of that significance" (English Heritage 2010,8)

Further details on Significance and PPS5 can be found on the English Heritage website.

Historic Environment

Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS 5), Annex 2 defines the Historic Environment as comprising:

"All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora. Those elements of the historic environment that hold significance are called heritage assets".

The Government's Statement on the Historic Environment of England 2010 recognises that the historic environment makes a very real contribution to our quality of life, is a driver for economic growth, a focus for regeneration and has the potential to enhance the quality of the places where we live and work. The government recognises that it is a fragile and non-renewable resource, which once lost, cannot be replaced. The conservation and preservation of this resource for future generations lies at the heart of sustainable development and is a key government objective.

Further details on Historic Environment and PPS 5 can be found on the English Heritage website

Historic Landscape Character Appraisals

The aim of a Historic Landscape Character Appraisal is to assess the character, distinctiveness and qualities of a given landscape in order to protect and preserve it into the future. This information can then be used to inform planning policy at regional, county and local level, as well as development control and countryside management.

Our landscape today is the result of thousands of years of human activity and reflects the political, social, economic and cultural influences which have shaped our past. The Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) methodology was devised to describe, and protect, the diversity of the British landscape and is based upon the principle that all types of landscapes are valued, not just our National Parks and historic estates. By identifying key characteristics of local landscapes these can be conserved and managed, enhancing local distinctiveness.

This importance of assessing the significance of heritage assets not in isolation but as part of the wider landscape character has long been appreciated and is now firmly embedded into planning policy and guidance.

Laser Scanning Technologies

Laser scanning technologies can be used as a means of capturing a large amount of data accurately, rapidly and in 3 dimensional space. The technique is used principally to record buildings and structures but can also be used to record rock art etc. The laser scan produces a 'point cloud' of the scanned area which comprises a vast number of 3D co-ordinate points each accurate to within a +/- 4mm tolerance. The result is an immediate 3D model which can then be used to generate a series of 2D plots by 'slicing' through the model at any point selected either along a vertical or horizontal plane. The point cloud can also be used to form the basis of 3D display models, capturing every stone and detail of the building in a fraction of the time used by conventional survey methods.

NAA work together with Greenhatch Group to provide a professional and competitive laser scanning service

LiDAR Survey

LiDAR is a remote form of survey that can be undertaken from the ground or air. The acronym stands for Light Detection and Ranging and basically relates to measuring the amount of time it takes for a single laser pulse to travel out from and return to a sensor after reflecting off an object. If you multiply the number of lasers and sensors you end up with a swath of recorded surface points which, from the air can currently offer a resolution of up to 1 measured point for every 25cm2 of surface area. This produces a 3D model of the ground allowing large areas of landscape to be recorded with a previously unknown resolution and accuracy.

For a long time archaeologists have used aerial photographs to map out larger features on the ground and this is still a valuable technique today. However, perhaps the key limitation of this methodology has been the plotting of features obscured in areas of woodland; this can now be offset by the use of LiDAR. Apart from its ability to cover large areas quickly, one of the main advantages of LiDAR is that enough of the laser beams can penetrate vegetation layers to create an image of the ground beneath. There are obviously still some limitations and the less dense the vegetative cover the better the resolution of the model produced.

LiDAR surveys have considerable potential in terms of historic environment management and assessment. Large areas of the country have already been surveyed at varying resolutions and this data can be purchased relatively cheaply, but for larger projects, tailor-made surveys need to be commissioned at comparable rates to traditional ground survey. NAA have undertaken LiDAR transcription work and can offer advice on obtaining and sourcing appropriate surveys across the UK.

Listed Building Consent

A building may be listed for a number of reasons including age, rarity, architectural merit, group value, construction method or association with a famous individual or event. The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as well as most structures built between 1700 and 1840. After 1840 the criteria for listing becomes more stringent with time, meaning that any post-1945 buildings have to be of exceptional significance to be considered of sufficient worth. Not only buildings can be listed - structures like tombs, sculptures, guideposts, boundary stones and even telephone boxes have been listed.

Buildings are graded according to their historic significance: Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest; Grade II* are of more than special interest, and Grade II are of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them.

Listed Buildings are protected by the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Any work that would affect a Listed Building - both inside and out - including anything which might lie within the curtilage of a structure, is likely to require Listed Building Consent from the local planning authority. The setting of a Listed Building is also protected under current legislation and policy, and will be a material consideration in planning decisions when affected by development within the immediate vicinity or the wider landscape.

Alteration or demolition of a Listed Building without prior consent is a criminal offence which can incur a heavy fine or even a custodial sentence. There can also be many grey areas in terms of Listed Building Consent - such as what constitutes alteration rather than demolition and what works constitute acceptable minor repairs - it is therefore advisable to seek professional advice at the outset of a project.

Further details on Listed Buildings can be found on the English Heritage website

Parkland and Landscape Management Plans

Historic parks and landscapes by their nature are large and complex sites. The long-term management of these areas is dependent on the careful balance between maintenance of both the built heritage (buildings, monuments, carriage drives etc) and ecological heritage (trees, boundaries, woodlands, planting schemes). They are also working landscapes serving both agricultural and recreational purposes. All of these various, sometimes conflicting, aspects need to be considered and assessed in the formulation of a long-term management strategy: this is the aim of a Parkland and Landscape Management Plan (PLMP).

PLMPs can form part of a Conservation Management Plan or stand on their own depending on the particular requirements of a project. At its simplest, a PLMP can comprise a historic overview of the site, a gazetteer of all landscape features, an assessment of potential threats and issues, and recommendations for future management, but this can also be extended to include a full 10 year management plan including schedules of work, costs and specifications, and clear guidelines for day-to-day maintenance.

Our staff have worked with a number of organisations in the production of landscape management plans and condition assessments, including Defence Estates and the National Trust.

Public Inquiry

If your planning application is turned down on grounds which include heritage impact, or you believe that the conditions attached have unacceptably restricted your development, then you do have the right to appeal; a public inquiry is the most formal of the appeal procedures. The majority of appeals are made to - and decided by - the Planning Inspectorate but in a few rare cases appeals are decided by the Secretary of State. Any appeal can go to Public Inquiry but it is often only large or contentious developments which will reach this stage.

At NAA our qualified and professional heritage consultants have first hand experience of preparing Proof of Evidence and giving expert witness statements on a range of historic environment issues.

For further details on appeals and public inquiry please see the Government Planning Portal Website

Rapid Appraisals

These are the simplest forms of assessment and generally involve a search of both local and nationally held databases (HER and NMR) of designated and undesignated archaeological and built heritage sites. This is sometimes coupled with a preliminary 'walk over' field survey of the potential site.

A rapid appraisal can provide an early indication of the archaeological potential of a site. Undertaken during the first phase of project planning, even prior to site purchase, it can help identify potential 'show-stoppers' and major constraints as well as providing a preliminary indication of the likely remit and costs of archaeological mitigation and what issues need to be addressed as part of a planning application process.

Scheduled Monument Consent

A 'schedule' of nationally important monuments (whose preservation is considered to have priority over all other land uses) has been maintained in this country since 1882. Previously known as Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs), scheduling is the only form of legal protection covering archaeological sites and is applicable to a wide range of monuments - both above and below ground - from prehistoric standing stones to collieries and wartime pillboxes.

Any activity which might be construed as having an impact on a scheduled site must have prior written consent from the Secretary of State; failure to comply is a criminal offence. This includes all additions or alterations - however minor they may seems - such as site repairs; the erection of fencing; changes to drainage and laying of pathways, as well as more extreme actions like demolition or destruction.

The preparation of a successful SMC application relies on a comprehensive consideration of all the potential impacts on the heritage significance of a scheduled site, including its setting. Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) is decided by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport but is administered by English Heritage who is also responsible for the monitoring and management of all scheduled sites.

For further information on Scheduled Monument Consent see the English Heritage website

Strip Map and Sample

Increasingly, impact on archaeological remains arising from large rural area and linear corridor development schemes is being mitigated by an approach known as 'strip, map and sample'. This approach is used extensively in circumstances where an area or corridor of development is constrained so impact on archaeological remains cannot be avoided, and where such remains are not of sufficient importance to warrant preservation in situ. This method assumes that large areas will be stripped in a single operation and that the archaeology uncovered will be planned but then sampled rather than fully excavated.

The advantages of this method are that soil stripping for archaeological purposes is undertaken within the construction programme. It also enables the exposure of the full totality of archaeological remains within the development footprint and is particularly successful at ensuring that ephemeral or dispersed remains are identified as well as major foci of activity. Sampling strategies required for dealing with the archaeology can then be targeted at the most significant remains, so avoiding the need to excavate all the archaeology fully.

The main risk to a developer is predicting, with confidence, the time and costs required for dealing with the archaeology until the initial stripping and planning has taken place, and a suitable sampling strategy agreed with the local planning authority. Developers should therefore ensure that an adequate window for investigation is built into the scheme programme, discuss with their archaeological advisors which areas are crucial within their programme and direct resources to clearing these areas early in the scheme and adopt a staged approach to costing.

NAA has worked successfully with many clients undertaking strip, map and sample excavation on large-scale developments. We recognise the difficulties of having to balance numerous factors once the construction programme has commenced and that good resource planning and flexibility are essential in order to ensure that the archaeology is appropriately investigated and recorded, and that delays to the construction programme are minimised.

Town Heritage Initiatives

The Heritage Lottery Fund Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme is intended to provide funding for the repair and regeneration of the historic environment in our towns and cities. It aims to develop sustainable conservation within urban areas - bringing new uses and life back into areas which have lost their traditional economic base - and to raise the standard of repair and design across the UK.

Grants are made to local partnerships which manage a common fund from which smaller grants are offered to property owners, although this is driven by an overarching strategy which evaluates the contribution of any individual restoration project to the whole. Partnerships are generally led by the local authority but might also include community groups, building preservation trusts, development agencies, civic societies and other such organisations.

At NAA we can contribute to the preparation of a THI bid and an integrated management and regeneration strategy which enhances and protects the historic character of your town or city.

Trial Trenching

Trial Trenching is the most common form of intrusive evaluation method required by the local planning authority and normally consists of a series of machine-cut trenches, followed by hand excavation, depending upon the nature of the site and deposits present. It usually forms part of a staged programme of site evaluation undertaken in support of a planning application or Environmental Impact Assessment. It is normally recommended where a desk-based assessment or non-intrusive evaluation such as geophysical survey or fieldwalking has identified the potential for significant archaeological remains to be present within a proposed development area.

The aims and objectives of any programme of trenching, including the location and number of trial trenches, should always be agreed in advance with the local planning archaeologist. Trenches are usually positioned to target specific features or areas of high archaeological potential, but can also be requested as a percentage of the whole development site. The primary aim is to characterise the nature, form, preservation and likely extent of any archaeology and assess the significance of those remains affected by the development. The combined results of the assessment and evaluation process enables the local planning authority to make an informed decision on an application, and can be used to avoid or minimise impact or as the basis for agreement of an appropriate mitigation strategy.