Trial trenching

Day in the life of a HERO

My name is Helen Wells and I’m the Historic Environment Record Officer (HERO) at Leicestershire County Council.  There are archaeologists here in both the Museums and Planning sections – I’m based in the latter.  I do work with the Museums archaeologists though, including Wendy Scott (the Portable Antiquities Scheme officer).  My job is basically to look after a database of all the county’s known archaeological remains and historic buildings.  It’s a fascinating job – I’ve been here since 2004 and I’m still enjoying it!

Before I start describing my day, I thought I’d give a bit of background about how I became a county council archaeologist.  (more…)

Day in the life of an archaeological planning officer 3.30pm

Since lunch I’ve been going through a draft written scheme of investigation (WSI) for a development in Chepstow. The WSI is required to meet a condition attached to the planning consent for a residential development. An archaeological evaluation (trial trenching) of the site was carried out prior to the determination of the planning application, but this was restricted due to there being occupied buildings on the site. The scheme therefore will commence with further evalaution work and then, depending on the results, could lead to an archaeological excavation on indentified areas of the site, although it is possible that little additional work will be required, if the construction of the current buildings has destroyed all of the archaeology.

Checking a wsi can be very boring and tedious and you can feel that you are being pernickety but experience has shown that getting the wsi right can save a lot of time and trouble at a later date, as all of the archaeological work will be governed by the contents of the wsi. In general this wsi was very good, I had discussed the contents with the archaeological consultant previously, with the only major issues being the need to include the objectives of the Research Framework for the Archaeology of Wales (http://www.archaeoleg.org.uk/) and to remove the need for an OASIS record to be used as OASIS does not cover Wales.