Caring for Battlefields
Our historic battlefields belong to us all and we can all play a role in making sure that they survive for future generations. There are many exciting examples of local community groups or heritage trusts acting as champions of battlefields of interest to them and leading the way in remembering, celebrating, protecting, promoting and interpreting them. Such engagement lends weight to the protection and management of the sites, and gives them a positive focus. This enhances the environment and promotes the heritage and cultural identity of an area. It also contributes to our well-being, provides opportunities for recreation and tourism, and helps stimulate the local economy.
The information in the Inventory can be used to help any initiative in promoting enjoyment, interpretation, education, research or the commemoration of battlefields. As a new resource, it has the capacity to grow and develop as we learn more about individual sites.
Recording and reporting finds
Objects from battlefields tell us much about the battle and the soldiers who fought in it. Consequently, it is vitally important that any objects recovered, whether through archaeological investigation, metal-detecting or by chance, are fully and meticulously recorded and reported to responsible authorities. Under Scottish law all portable antiquities of archaeological, historical or cultural significance are subject to claim by the Crown through the Treasure Trove system and must be reported. Further information on these legal requirements can be obtained from the Treasure Trove Unit
Conservation or management plans are key tools for developing a strategic and coordinated approach to a battlefield as a whole. Such plans provide a focus for bringing together key stakeholders and establishing shared goals and actions, help with the proactive management of change of the site in its landscape context, and support site interpretation and access. They also provide a context for new research or information to be added, developing our knowledge base and understanding of a site over time.
Different groups can take the lead in preparing such a plan, but it is essential that key decision-makers and other stakeholders are involved in the process. Further guidance on conservation plans can be found in Managing Change in the Historic Environment: Battlefields