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Rediscovering and Conserving Our Archaeological Heritage

Rediscovering and Conserving Our Archaeological Heritage

Lead Partner

New Forest National Park Authority

What is it about?

This project aims to uncover and conserve hidden, unknown and decaying heritage sites and archaeological features throughout the New Forest. A Community Archaeologist will oversee a programme of works including surveys to locate new and existing sites and historic structures, recording and assessing their condition and the need for conservation work, and where possible, undertaking repairs.

Work will involve woodland and open landscape areas, using the results of Lidar and recently acquired aerial photographs to verify new sites and update heritage records. A particular emphasis of the work will relate to sites of industrial heritage and the condition of churchyards and burial grounds, along with the monuments and tombstones within them.

The project will train volunteers to carry out general site and monument identification and the assessment of significance and condition under professional supervision. It will also provide opportunities to take part in excavations and engage through national archaeological and heritage festivals.

The project will:

  • Better manage heritage and improve the condition of features, with 300 undesignated historic features/sites surveyed, and 9 religious burial and graveyard sites and 12 industrial heritage sites restored and conserved
  • Involve 20 woodland owners and survey 2000 hectares of private woodland
  • Make greater understanding of heritage and the local archaeological and historic landscape features more widely available to visitors and residents
  • Provide 500 volunteer days a year, split across research, surveying and recording
  • Engage 50 people in training, field work, survey, and data entry, site improvements, events and provide 1800 days of volunteer time
  • Run four Festival of British Archaeology/International Archaeology Days and four Heritage Open Days, including four excavations and surveys, and four finds identification days
  • Produce four leaflets on archaeological subjects.
Volunteering and training

Training will be provided by specialists to ensure that volunteers have the skills they require to undertake the various tasks. To further their learning and enjoyment, training will involve traditional methods and rapidly advancing computer-based work.

Visit the training and volunteering pages for information on specific roles within the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.


The project will be sustained long term through the online heritage portal New Forest Knowledge, which the public can continue to contribute to. Data will also be made available through the Local Historic Environment Record, Archaeological Data Service and museums and record offices. A tool kit for assessing archaeological structures and monuments will be given to local community groups to allow them to make their own grant applications to funding bodies in future.

Contact details

James Brown – Community Archaeologist, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646695 email:

Land Advice Service Manager


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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