Background

1141 HMS/m Holland
Between 2003 and 2013 the English Heritage (now Historic England) Maritime Team managed the contract for the Provision of Archaeological Services in Relation to the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) on behalf of English Heritage (now Historic England), Historic Scotland (now Historic Environment Scotland), Cadw and the Environment and Heritage Service Northern Ireland. This was split into two contracts, one for England and the other for the devolved authorities in 2013.
 
In April 2013, Wessex Archaeology was awarded a two year contract for work in English waters. The objectives of the contract include:
  • providing advice on the designation of wrecks under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973
  • facilitating management and understanding through fieldwork
  • liaising between the heritage agencies and licensees (people licensed to investigate protected wrecks)
  • assisting these groups in achieving high standards of work
  • maintaining and disseminating information about protected wrecks
Fieldwork included diving and surveying, including geophysical survey on a number of designated and/or undesignated sites each year. Fieldwork on wrecks may be up to 14 days, though in general averaged about seven days. Assessment typically involved a few days diving/surveying for each site.