Since its earliest days WA had always set out to "promote the advancement of public education in the subject of archaeology" as part of its status as a Charitable Trust. This had been done through events such as talks to local groups and schools, taking students on work placements, site open days and displays, participation in courses and day schools. In June 1996 a new step was taken with Pippa Smith's appointment as Community Officer, a post funded in part by English Heritage. Much of Pippa's work involved visiting schools, taking a selection of finds for the children to look at and handle, and answering their questions.
At Clovelly Bay, Plymouth, archaeological assessment of the foreshore and seabed ahead of dredging and the construction of a new marina made this the first project where WA used only its own divers. Diving had been the only means of taking auger samples of the sediments forming the bed of the bay.
Excavations on a major road construction project, the A30 Honiton to Exeter Improvement, started at the end of 1996. Several different archaeological bodies had a hand in the various stages of the project. Assessments, fieldwalking and evaluations were carried out by the (then) Exeter Museums Field Archaeology Unit between 1989 and 1994. Geophysical surveys were undertaken by Oxford Archaeotechnics in 1994/5. Oxford Archaeology was appointed as the Project Archaeologist and Wessex Archaeology as the Project Contractor in December 1996. The archaeology was there but it needed plenty of archaeologists to find it!