Heritage can be a unifying force, bringing communities together to understand and appreciate the value of their local cultural heritage, which in turn enhances wellbeing, creates ‘sense of place’, develops local skills, and attracts visitors and investment.

Wessex Archaeology has a strong track record andover 40 years’ experience initiating and delivering successful community engagement projects in association with a variety of partner organisations and community groups. As a registered charity, community engagement is at the heart of what we do.

Engaging the public with heritage

Our charitable aims are to enhance the education of the public in science, the arts, culture and heritage through archaeology. We use archaeology as the vehicle to inspire and spark curiosity in people of all ages and backgrounds. 

We work closely with developers, public bodies, local authorities, educators, community groups and charities to undertake heritage projects that deliver a lasting impact for communities.

We champion projects that bring tangible benefits to local areas, over and above the widening of access to and appreciation of heritage. It’s crucial that we empower communities to take ownership over their heritage, providing the opportunities, training and engagement tools to enable this. 

We also engage people with archaeology digitally and through the media, creating narratives and content that reaches millions each year.  

Services for public archaeology projects

Our dedicated Community & Education team has extensive experience of developing and delivering quality learning in the heritage sector which engage a diverse audience with heritage and leave a lasting impact.

Whether it’s creating bespoke resources and workshops for school children or working with partners to produce a programme for archaeological fieldwork, our expert team can help to fulfil any community engagement brief. 

For commercial clients…

We can add value to commercial projects by incorporating an effective community engagement strategy which delivers against project outcomes and wider CSR objectives. We can deliver exciting resources as a project legacy that enable young people to understand the value of a site, and use its archaeology to enhance and stimulate learning into the future. We have developed unique metrics to record and analyse the impact that our community engagement projects have on their target audience, which can be tailored to any project. 

For public bodies and charity initiatives…

Our experienced team will guide you through applications for funding, helping to develop a project design, a realistic budget and how to ensure the positive and meaningful outcomes for the community. We will offer support and training to deliver the activity. Our unique metrics to record and analyse the impact that our projects have on their target audience isrecognised by bodies like Historic England (HE) and the National Trust (NT), local councils and government agencies. 


Find out more about our community services here


What our clients say…

“The opportunities that the children have had in working with Wessex Archaeology have been fantastic. Sam has been absolutely amazing at planning and delivering sessions that have really inspired children, and also been able to draw on other experts within the organisation to engage and inspire that curiosity and ‘wow’ factor.”

Ms Nicky Phillips, Headteacher, St Michael’s CE Primary School, Larkhill

“The first skeleton was found by myself. Being able to excavate it with the help of Jackie McKinley was a great learning experience, not just for me but for the whole dig team. Being shown the process, step by step, has given me the confidence and knowledge that I need to excavate burials on my own, and to teach others.”

Corporal Steve Winterton, an Operation Nightingale participant on the Barrow Clump excavation.

“Project SAMPHIRE’s methodology has a great degree of transferability and is an excellent model for similar sites throughout Europe.”

The Europa Nostra Jury on awarding the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award to Project SAMPHIRE for Education, Training and Awareness-raising.


To find an archaeological or heritage service follow this link.