As 2020 draws to a close, we look back at a year of monumental change and we can be very proud of our adaptation, resilience and success. 

It's been a tricky year for everyone; with the new restrictions in place in March we took steps to enable our staff to remain safe and healthy while continuing in their roles. Our people are always our number one priority, and we have had to make some tricky decisions to navigate these uncertain times. We've managed to move our expanding London & South East team to new offices in Meopham, and our West office has seen leadership changes which places our Consultancy Director, Abby Bryant at the helm. We've come to the end of the year stronger and closer as an organisation, and I have a great sense of awe at the continued dedication and work ethic of our people. They are truly a passionate group of experts; passionate about what they do and passionate about bringing that knowledge to benefit the public.

We have been very fortunate that our work on our client sites has continued as usual, with thanks to our revised Health & Safety measures. Our team has worked hard across the country to deliver high-quality work, from large-scale excavations on HS2 to offshore investigations for Historic England, under ever more difficult circumstances. Our adaptability and innovation are what make us stand out, and this has led to continued trust placed in us by our clients. In October, Wessex Archaeology was appointed the main archaeological contractor on the A303 Stonehenge Scheme. We are very proud of the fact we have been recognised by Highways England as a sector leader able to carry out this work. The Stonehenge landscape is home ground for Wessex Archaeology, and we are the best-placed team of specialists to manage major archaeological works in this special place. It's also an exciting opportunity to collaborate with sector colleagues, and deliver a truly innovative community engagement programme. We aspire to create ground-breaking outcomes for the scheme.

We've also seen this year as an opportunity. At the start of the year, developments were already in place for expanding our digital engagement and creative capabilities, and the pandemic accelerated these plans. We have brought entertainment, wellbeing and education to the public through our YouTube series, our webinars, our online school and group activities, our HLF-funded 'Lost & Found' project with local charities, and our social media content, such as the popular 'Drawing on Heritage' and 'Salisbury Sites'. Through a boost from the Cultural Heritage Recovery Fund, we have also taken on a new videographer, 2D animator and 3D animator who join our talented Studio team, and will enable us to bring new virtual experiences and characters to life to engage a wider variety of audiences.

With such a rapid expansion in our creative digital skills, we thought it fitting that this year's e-Christmas card comes from one of our newest members of staff, Lizzie Garwood, our 2D Animator.

The brief: Make people laugh. Enjoy!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our clients, colleagues, volunteers and people who supported us through this unpredictable year.

Chris Brayne, Wessex Archaeology CEO

Our offices are closed from Friday 18 December 2020 until Monday 4 January 2021. We wish everyone a wonderful festive period and a happy new year.