A heritage assessment can involve all sorts of techniques. We were asked by Natural England to carry out an assessment at Ferry Farm in Calstock, Cornwall. The brief required us to assess both the known heritage assets and those identified by our work for their condition and significance, produce work specifications, make management recommendations, and oversee the management works.

Using LiDAR and aerial photographs, our desk-based assessment (DBA) identified a probable hillfort defending the land inside the loop of the river that now contains Ferry Farm. The DBA also suggested that the undated riverside quay on the farm could relate to a recently discovered Roman fort at Calstock, which may have been re-supplied, via the estuary, by sea.

Between 1869 and 1884, two attempts were made to extract copper from the Harewood Consuls mine. From these attempts, the overgrown standing remains of an engine house, with associated structures and earthworks, remain within woodland next to an uncapped mine-shaft 55m deep. We carried out a detailed survey of the standing remains and a small-scale evaluation of the possible site of a White Coal kiln, and provided a suite of detailed recommendations for the site’s future management, consolidation and further interpretation.

Parts of the site are SSSI, and there are bats in the mine-shaft, dormice by the ferry, and an otter hover by the farm. We commissioned an ecological survey to avoid unintentional ecological damage that our management recommendations may cause. We have now made our recommendations to the owners and Natural England.