By 1987, the attitudes and commercial acumen of developers were starting to make themselves felt. Archaeologists were used to working in their own territory (in the case of WA in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire and the Isle of Wight) where local knowledge and contacts had been built up. Being asked to tender for work throughout the country was one thing, but winning the tender and being asked to work further afield was a venture into the unknown! At the same time other archaeologists coming to work in Wessex was a concern.
Despite the changes, of most importance was that archaeological fieldwork continued. Trial trenching and geophysical survey on the route of the proposed Dorchester Southern Bypass in 1986 and early 1987 located several sites that were excavated later in the year.
Yet more sites were found while construction was in progress. Neolithic and Bronze Age enclosures, Bronze Age ring ditches and burials, Iron Age and Roman cemeteries, and medieval field boundaries all lay within a short distance of Dorchester. Elsewhere in Dorset, the development of the Wytch Farm Oilfield provided fantastic opportunities to examine a wide area of Purbeck heathland.
Away from rural Dorset, excavation at Jennings Yard close by the River Thames in Windsor, cast light on medieval building in the town, whilst excavation in the centre of Trowbridge showed an abundance of change in land use from Bronze Age field systems through to Saxon, then Norman enclosed settlement with church and graveyard. Later earthworks dated to a 12th century castle, which in turn were levelled during the post-medieval period.