Watching Brief

Watching Brief WB

Low-impact archaeological monitoring of groundworks on site


What is a Watching Brief?

An archaeological watching brief will be carried out as a condition of planning consent as requested by the Local Planning Authority on sites where a potential for buried archaeology has been identified. The principle of the watching brief is to maintain an archaeological site presence commensurate with the scale of development groundworks to identify any buried archaeology exposed during the development and treat it accordingly.

How is a Watching Brief done?

The site archaeologist will monitor the developers groundworks contractor during excavations, normally in specific areas previously identified as of interest. Where archaeological remains are exposed these will be dealt with as per a previously agreed scheme of works, involving a minimum of hand cleaning and recording. It is the role of the archaeologist to liaise with the developer, groundworks crew and archaeological advisor to the Local Planning Authority to ensure that features are dealt with correctly. Where Watching Briefs are run well, with good communication, there should be little or no impact on the schedule of works defined by the groundworks contractor.

When do you need a Watching Brief?

A Watching Brief would be required as a condition of development, and would be carried out during the development groundworks in line with the groundworkers schedule.