Local Government Archaeology 2012

Over  the last year my team have went through a massive restructure (fairly typical local government practice these days), and I was lucky enough to keep my job after being re interviewed. Last year I was HERO (Historic Environment Records Officer) and now I am an Historic Environment Consultant – which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it! I’m now working in a multi-disciplinary team called Place Services, which comprises archaeologists, historic buildings advisors, ecologists, urban designers, landscape architects and strategic environmental planners. We provide a holistic way of managing and protecting all elements of the natural, historic and build environment. Consequently, there have been lots of changes to the type of work I do, and I’m enjoying working on big, multi-disciplinary projects. In the last month I have complete a Conservation Area Appraisal, conducted a visitor participation survey at a castle and wrote part of a  funding application for an exciting community engagement project. Last week was incredibly busy and chaotic, so this week is about catching up on my ‘real’ work. On Monday morning my first task was to deal with some emails, mainly invoices that needed sent out and a few HER enquiries from students. There are always a few final year students who start their dissertation early and need information. I then moved onto checking the weekly planning list for Epping Forest, as I now do the development control archaeology for the district as part of my new role. I checked the weeks planning applications, highlighting any that may have  below ground impact, involve historic buildings or historic areas. By locating the sites on the GIS mapping and referring to the HER,I can check which planning proposals are likely to have an archaeological impact and make recommendations to mitigate damage and record the archaeology. I signed off some documentation so that an excavation can begin in the coming weeks, and wrote a brief for an archaeological contractor for a historic barn recording. Over the rest of the week I will be giving the HER my full attention, we recently scanned our entire gray literature library and I need to transfer the reports onto the network so they can be linked to our database. Next week I will probably have another project design to contribute to, and possibly get a sneak peak at a certain olympics venue before the games start!