Community Archaeology

My interest in archaeology was sparked through involvement with a vibrant local society in the Forest of Dean and so I understand the tremendous value that volunteers bring to our understanding of the historic environment. I also believe that the technology and tools to handle lidar data are more accessible than people think, and with the Environment Agency’s open data and national coverage of England almost completed, there really is nothing stopping a lidar revolution!

I have lots of experience working with community groups to explore 3D landscape data on the computer and undertake subsequent field survey to record features in more detail.  If you’re interested in exploring this type of survey with your local group why not drop me a message?

Below are some images of the training workshops and public open-days I co-ordinated and delivered with my team at the South Downs National Park. Together we trained a small army of 130 volunteers in lidar survey techniques over the winter of 2014/15 who will go on to survey 350km2 of historic Sussex woodland for archaeological features.  I’m now based in South Gloucestershire and have trained community archaeologists at Bath and Camerton Archaeology Society, Yate and District Archaeology Group and Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Society. I have also lead “citizen science” lidar projects as part of “A Forgotten Landscape” and “Living Levels” Landscape Partnerships and am looking forward to working with the Carneddau Landscape Partnership and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority on similar projects in the coming year.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the training. Will you please thank Rebecca and Alice for their professional and knowledgeable approach. They made the whole day interesting and instructive and I think we all came away with a much better understanding of the project and how we can be involved.”

Community Volunteer, Secrets of the High Woods Project, South Downs National Park

what our course participants say…

“The software can seem initially complex and daunting, but Rebecca’s GIS course helped us all to get the confidence we needed to go off and do it ourselves. She has a lot of experience in the field and is an excellent trainer who is able to explain difficult topics in a clear way. We now have several BACAS members who are can use GIS software in projects and we are already seeing the benefits in our fieldwork and production of reports.”

John Richards, Bath and Camerton Archaeology Society

“As organiser the whole process was handled very well and particularly useful was that Rebecca managed the bookings and payment system, saving me a lot of further administration. PTS provides a very cost effective and professional tutorial service for local interest groups.  I would highly recommend any group who have members wishing to learn more about using  QGIS to contact Rebecca.

“As participant, the course content and presentation were excellent.  Course notes and exercises are handy for use at home to refresh the memory on tasks, especially processing lidar data.  While there is a QGIS manual  and lots of video tutorials on the web, it is better, from the point of view of a beginner to GIS, to attend a face to face tutorial, especially when the price is right!”

John Samways, Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Society

“Yate and District Archaeology Group were very fortunate to have Rebecca Bennett of Pushing the Sensors give the group a comprehensive training session on how to process Lidar data.  The training material was very clear and concise and with Rebecca’s enthusiastic support during the training session, all members of our group were able to produce results, no matter what level of IT capability they had.  Several group members have since gone on to use this training to great effect.”

Jenni Craft, Communications Officer, Yate and District Archaeology Group