Determining the Presence or Absence of Deposit Types Conducive to Organic Preservation from Heritage at Risk Moated Sites: Yorkshire and The Humber Pilot Study

Moated sites are disproportionately represented on the Heritage at Risk (HAR) Register. It has been previously assumed that all moated sites contain deposit types that are likely to have organic preservation in their ditches. Consequently, a significant minority are considered to be at 'high' risk and in a 'declining' condition trend. We needed to test these assumptions by investigating the sites in a pilot study. Historic England staff determined the presence or absence of deposit types conducive to organic preservation for 25 sites in Yorkshire and the Humber area based on a simple methodology.

After discussion with the Yorkshire and East Midlands HAR teams, it was agreed to leave 16 sites at 'high' risk (8 sites due to their potential for organic preservation and 8 sites due to other land management issues) and downgrade 9 sites to 'low' risk on the HAR Register.

It was concluded that the methodology proved successful. It could therefore be adopted more widely, and represents an effective and efficient way to help Historic England meet its corporate aims and objectives. Due to the simplicity of the methodology, it would be possible to train volunteers, students, etc, to undertake further surveys on Historic England's behalf.

The study identified that 8 sites warrant further evaluation because of their high potential for organic preservation, i.e. the retrieval of core samples for full palaeoenvironmental assessment and scientific dating.


  • Summary description
  • Background
  • Project Scope
  • Research aims and objectives
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 74


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