Wessex Archaeology’s Coastal & Marine Team help our clients reduce risks and avoid delays during marine development projects through our bespoke Retained Archaeology Services.

We work across the renewables, aggregates, dredging, energy, and ports and harbours sectors, acting as ‘retained archaeologists’ once Consent has been obtained. Our work streamlines liaison with regulators, statutory consultees and other key stakeholders. Our approach integrates Embedded and Additional mitigation measures with Client work flows to deliver seamless and cost-effective services – we strive to ensure consenting and licensing requirements are simply and reliably discharged; and to exacting standards of the marine sector.

We support and facilitate the discharge of planning conditions and additional consultancy and technical assessment that may be required for marine licenses throughout the post-consent phases of the project.


A tailored approach to each development

As part of the service, a Written Schemes of Investigation (WSI) is delivered setting out the archaeological mitigation strategy to meet planning conditions. Based upon the type of development and the jurisdiction, Wessex Archaeology provide a fully-tailored approach to:

  • Coastal (harbour/port installations, utility and pipeline installations);
  • Below Mean High Water;
  • To 12 nautical miles;
  • Beyond, out to the limit of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); and
  • International Waters.

The Coastal & Marine team at Wessex Archaeology comprises highly-qualified and experienced consultants to act as retained archaeologists. We excel at providing high-quality and time-sensitive consultancy, industry-leading technical advice and cost-effective management of a projects. We are supported by the Geoservices team of marine geophysicists, and geoarchaeologists, to deliver results when your projects need them most.

Retained Archaeologist: launching a remote sensor vehicle (ROV) Retained Archaeologist: tracking data from a remote sensor vehicle (ROV)

The responsibilities of a retained archaeologist include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring effective implementation of the WSI and other legal requirements and contractual commitments in relation to archaeology and cultural heritage;
  • Liaise with Regulators, Statutory Consultees and other key Stakeholders
  • Liaise with and brief key project personnel:
    • Consents Managers;
    • ECOW;
    • Design and survey teams;
  • Advising contractors where elements warrant archaeological involvement; and
  • Preparing detailed archaeological method statements for the following:
    • providing archaeological advice for any planned geophysical, geotechnical, diver and/or ROV investigations;
    • developing investigation strategies for surveys with a specifically archaeological purpose, if/when required, for example in relation to the implementation, alteration, monitoring, or removal of Archaeological Exclusion Zones;
    • undertaking watching briefs; and
    • providing advice for existing and/or developing bespoke Protocols for Archaeological Discoveries to address any unexpected finds.
  • Our Marine & Maritime Specialists produce the necessary archaeological reports, publication, conservation and archiving work required for discharging consent and license conditions throughout the post-consent phase of a project.
Marine aggregate dredger in action, image courtesy of Retained archaeologists seiving marine sediments

Dredging image courtesy of Mark Russel, copyright BMAPA 


Andrea Hamel

Senior Marine Archaeologist

Andrea Hamel

Ben Saunders

Senior Marine Archaeologist

Ben Saunders

Victoria Lambert

Senior Marine Archaeologist

Victoria Lambert

Retained Archaeology Services

Client advice

WSI and Method statements

Mitigation compliance advice

Regulator and stakeholder liaison



Retention and storage of seabed discoveries

Analysis & reporting


Contact our team today

+44 1722 326867

+44 1722 326867
Dan Atkinson

Get in touch

Contact Dan Atkinson, Director Coastal & Marine and Scotland

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