West Berkshire Council

Managing the Historic Environment

Advice for communities and landowners on managing, protecting, understanding and enhancing heritage sites in West Berkshire

There are many factors that can affect the historic environment, and we encourage landowners and communities to undertake positive management to make sure that heritage assets are preserved for future generations to enjoy. 
A useful starting point for this is the pdf icon West Berkshire Historic Environment Action Plan [4Mb], a document that:

  • highlights what is special about the historic environment of West Berkshire
  • examines the key challenges faced in protecting our historic environment
  • explores opportunities for the future
  • establishes actions that can be taken, and how they are prioritised

Information and advice on national historic environment management issues can be found on the Historic Environment Local Management (HELM) website.

Landowners and farmers

If you're a landowner or farmer, there may be funding available for site management through the Natural England Environmental Stewardship scheme. Applicants should consult the Archaeological Officer for advice on managing their heritage assets, but can also find out more on manageable sites by using the interactive map on the Selected Heritage Inventory for Natural England (SHINE) website.

Communities

Local communities have a real opportunity to influence change in their neighbourhoods through the creation of Community Plans (also known as Parish Plans) and Village, Town and Parish Design Statements (VDS).  These offer a chance to engage with the historic environment and make sure that heritage assets of local significance are recognised and valued.  A useful guide for including heritage into local plans is the English Heritage advice note Knowing Your Place

Many parishes in West Berkshire have produced Community Plans that include historic environment objectives as actions, such as providing guides or trails for heritage assets in their village, or researching local history. Useful advice and links on how to get started with a plan can be found on the West Berkshire Community Planning page

Preventing Heritage Crime

Another important aspect of historic environment management is ensuring that heritage assets are protected from criminal damage, such as lead theft from historic churches, illegal metal detecting or fly-tipping on archaeological sites. The Heritage Crime initiative has been set up by English Heritage, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to combat criminal activity that directly or indirectly affects heritage assets.  Proactive local engagement is an essential aspect of this initiative.  Further information can be found at English Heritage Heritage Crime programme webpage

Information and advice on both local and national heritage assets can be obtained from the Archaeology Service and by consulting the West Berkshire Historic Environment Record.

Who To Contact

Contact details for West Berkshire's Archaeological Officer

01635 519534