This innovative project has successfully created a network of several hundred volunteer Heritage Stewards who carry out 'Heritage at Risk' surveys on the survival and condition of Lincolnshire's heritage. The volunteers are trained to survey all types of heritage asset and feed the information into a central 'at risk' database, giving an unprecedented level of information about Lincolnshire's historic environment and informing the strategy for its management. During the first stage of the project in 2009 Exegesis developed the web site for the project, designed to allow the project staff to manage all aspects of the project in one place. As well as tools for signing up and managing volunteers and training courses, it has a news page, events calendar and other supporting functions. After the successful pilot phase, Heritage Lottery Funding plus partnership from English Heritage and Lincolnshire County Council allowed the project to run for 3 years with a dedicated team of staff. And in 2014, the project was further extended to cover North and North-East Lincolnshire Council areas.
The core of the site is the interactive map of heritage assets, including listed buildings, places of worship, historic gardens, conservation areas, and a 5% sample of the county’s archaeological sites. Map and attribute data are drawn live from the Lincolnshire County HER via the HBSMR Gateway, rather than being managed in a separate database. The map uses the OpenLayers API, with free Ordnance Survey Open Data and Bing maps.
From the map, volunteers download and print a user-friendly survey-pack for the sites/buildings they wish to survey, including everything known about the site, a location map, and a site-specific survey form. Once the fieldwork has been done, the volunteers enter the survey results back into the web site, along with digital photos. Project staff validate the surveys to ensure consistency, and can also view on-line statistics on the complete dataset as it accumulates, and download the data for further analysis.
Further information is available from Crispin Flower, Liz Bates at the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire on 01529 461499 or www.lincshar.org.