Field Evaluation

One of the most common types of archaeological evaluation techniques is trial trenching and this combines machine and hand excavation. Trial trenching is designed to be a rapid sampling exercise and usually comprises a series of linear trenches spread across a proposed development site. The purpose of this is to investigate an area where existing information indicates that there may be some archaeological potential but where there is limited or no evidence for it on the site itself. Sampling ratios vary but are commonly anywhere between 2-5% of the proposed impact area. Such areas can include building footprints, car parking, access roads, significant landscaping zones and buried services.

Trial trenching is commonly undertaken at an early stage in the planning process in order that the results, in the form of an illustrated report, can support a planning application. The purpose of this is to enable the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to take an informed decision on the merits of the application on archaeological grounds.

The distribution and configuration of trenches can be be pre-determined in a Brief issued by the county Historic Environment Service but it is more common for us to provide an evaluation strategy.

We are routinely involved in trial trenching evaluations and have a varied portfolio of this type of investigation across the South West. From evaluating house extensions to developments across many hectares, we offer a complete solution that ensures that our clients have all the information they need to progress their development plans.