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Defence Infrastructure Organisation deploys database to manage historic sites and building

Archaeological excavation
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The historic environment team of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation has begun to use a new online database to manage the heritage of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) estate.

Named the Historic Environment Record (HER), it is claimed to be a global first and provides access to heritage records and condition surveys of over 800 listed buildings, 700 scheduled monuments and tens of thousands of archaeological monuments.

DIO said the HER will enable its archaeologists and historic building specialists to support military training and operations and provide advice on any aspect of defence that has an impact on heritage.

This includes development control, infrastructure projects, environmental stewardship, sustainability appraisals, grounds and facilities maintenance, site disposals, climate change, natural capital and recreation.

It will also support work with UK statutory bodies, local authorities and the Archaeology Data Service hosted by the University of York.

Platform supplier

The database uses the Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record (HBSMR) platform from Idox Software for data management, analysis, presentation and publication of heritage data.

It also exploits a geographical information system enabling the integration of multiple 3D digital spatial datasets, such as those for sites of special scientific interest.

DIO archaeologists Guy Salkeld said: “Our new system is incredibly exciting and will help us to be more effective in supporting defence capability whilst upholding MoD’s responsibilities to the historic environment, both at home and abroad.

“The HER will add enormous value to the DIO historic environment team’s work, from providing an accessible overview of the historic environment, to supplying detailed advice on the impact of MoD activities on heritage assets, and enabling a wealth of sustainability potential in between.”

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