Researching your site (1) - site visit

A vital part of my research into your site is to see the land and buildings which will be affected by your proposals. Maps and online photographs give a very different impression of plots of land and an informed direct knowledge of the site will help me understand the significance of facts I unearth and enable me to discuss the implications more usefully with planners (if you wish me to).
 
Your site may be a a small building plot, a house and garden, a field, or a stately home estate. I will walk around and sometimes across the plot, annotating a plan of the site and taking digital photos which will remind me what I saw. Some photos will illustrate my report, helping the planners to understand the site better.
 
I will look for humps and bumps in grass and soil, changes of brick or stonework in buildings and walls, trees, boundary ditches - all of which may indicate archaeological features. I'll look for pottery and worked flints on the soil or on molehills (but this is not a formal field-walking survey which can be arranged if required by the planners). On the other hand, I'll look for drains, cable ducts, and other signs that the ground has been disturbed (which could have removed archaeological remains).

The site visit is not a detailed examination of buildings, but it will highlight whether one is needed as part of your Heritage Impact Assessment or Archaeological Assessment. If a building survey is needed, a specialist will attend with me or at a later stage.