Priorities for adding new records and modifications to existing records depend on the flow of information to the HER from archaeological contractors, researchers and members of the public. However, the HER also follows a clearly defined action plan for targeted improvements; these are improvements required to make certain the Warwickshire HER meets nationally agreed standards for Historic Environment Records. The HER Action Plan for the 2008/9 covers tasks including:
- Targeted validation of 10% of records,
- Incorporating information from the source backlog for a minimum of 20 Warwickshire parishes,
- Identifying sources and securing funding to extend the HER Outreach and Education Programme
- Identifying sources and securing funding for additional HER enhancement and research projects
- Undertaking an audit of HER unique source material and devising a plan for improving the long-term security of this resource.
During this period staff within the HER will continue to respond to enquiries from consultants, researchers and the public in Warwickshire and beyond. As part of our mission to increase use of our resource, staff in the HER will be investigating how other professionals, such as teachers, adult education tutors, arts workers and those delivering social care services might use our resources in new and imaginative ways.
Legislative changes, known as Heritage Reform, signals fundamental changes in the way nationally important historic sites are designated and protected. Draft legislation is to be published in April 2008. Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Listed Buildings, Historic Parks and Battlefields will be amalgamated into a single Register of Historic Assets, and there will be an increased role for local authorities in managing these assets. As a key element of delivering the new management regime, it is anticipated that for the first time there will be a statutory requirement for Local Authorities to maintain, or have formal access to, an Historic Environment Record. Whilst there will be appreciable benefits to the new system, the period of adjustment will inevitably provide some challenges as well as opportunities.