The transition from SMRs to HERs is still in its infancy. However, the following can be offered as an initial definition of what is an HER:
'An Historic Environment Record provides access to a comprehensive and dynamic information resource about the historic environment of its local area for public benefit and use. The historic environment includes all aspects of our surroundings that have been built, formed or influenced by human activities from earliest to most recent times.
An Historic Environment Record makes information widely accessible to specialists and to the public, managing its services and data in accordance with agreed national and international standards and guidance on best practice.
The purposes of an Historic Environment Record are to:
- advance research and new understanding about the historic environment;
- inform care of the historic environment through conservation and environmental enhancement programmes and projects, state of the environment reports, and by raising public awareness about conservation needs;
- inform policies and decision-making in land-use planning, development control, statutory undertakings, agri-environment and forestry schemes;
- contribute to educational programmes and projects about the historic environment;
- encourage public and community participation in the appreciation and enjoyment of the historic environment.' (ALGAO / English Heritage SMR Working Party 2002)
The first HERs are beginning to emerge and are making some progress towards meeting this ambitious definition. Examples include Essex and Worcestershire.
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Last updated: Wed Jan 28 2004