Hampshire has a rich and diverse historic environment formed by the physical evidence of all aspects of human activity from earliest prehistory to the late twentieth century. It includes archaeological sites, historic buildings, historic landscape and townscape, historic parks and gardens, and battlefields.
It is a defining part of Hampshire's identity and contributes directly to a sense of place and local identity, and informs what makes a place attractive to live in, work in and visit. The historic environment is valued in its own right, and also supports recreation, education and tourism. It is important to make sure that it is not needlessly or thoughtlessly damaged.
Archaeology is the study of the physical remains left by past generations, and gives a glimpse into past lives. We can find out how people of different eras provided themselves with food and shelter; how they traded and defended themselves; how they developed and used technology; how they organised themselves; and how they enriched their lives with culture and religion. Indeed, for the prehistoric periods, it is only through archaeology that we can unlock these stories.
The archaeological record is under threat from the changing pressure in modern life and we need to ensure that it is not needlessly or thoughtlessly lost. Through data and advice we are able to assist the planning system to protect some archaeological remains, and to secure archaeological recording at sites which cannot be preserved. Some utilities also seek data and guidance when planning their schemes.
The database we use is the Archaeology and Historic Buildings Record.
Data and advice is also provided within environmental stewardship schemes, principally through the Farm Environment Plan. These schemes work positively with land owners to cherish the historic aspects within the farmed landscape.
Other consultations allow the historic environment to be protected within the wider objectives of schemes, for example consultation from the Forestry Commission regarding Woodland Grant Schemes.
For further details of parks and gardens in Hampshire visit the website of the Hampshire Gardens Trust at: research.hgt.org.uk/