England is renowned for the richness of its archaeological heritage: a tangible – and often highly evocative – link with our prehistoric and historic past, and a unique source of information that has the potential to transform our understanding of the lives of our ancestors and how they adapted to and changed their environment.
Such remains often form significant features in our surroundings, but are also valuable as a resource for research, education, leisure, tourism and regeneration, and for their influence on perceptions of identity and spirit of place. However, they are also a finite, irreplaceable and fragile resource and are vulnerable to a wide range of human activities and natural processes.
The policies set out in this statement relate to the identification, protection, conservation and investigation of England’s premier archaeological sites under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, including through:
- the designation of scheduled monuments; and
- the determination of applications for scheduled monument consent.