headland Workers Digging







Archaeological contracting services are the core of our business.  Our clients come from all sectors of development and construction industries  and they want expert advice that satisfies all their planning conditions.

We can take you from pre-planning surveys and site investigations, right through to mitigation excavations before or during construction.  We pride ourselves on excellent project and risk management, and delivering on time and on budget.  We can provide resource anywhere in the UK from our network of four offices.

The Contracting team is focused on delivering archaeological services in advance of construction work on time and on budget. We know you want value for money, as heritage can be a significant cost in any development budget. Our project management teams adopt a flexible approach to all projects, communicating effectively with our clients and their advisors. We focus on designing archaeological projects that meet our clients’ requirements whilst reducing and managing financial risk and delays on development programmes.

As one of the UK’s largest contractors, we offer a full range of non-invasive and invasive surveys and we have the scale and resources to get teams onto development sites anywhere in the UK, often at short notice. Our network of regional offices enables us to move resources around the country to meet demand.

Our experience as principal contractor on large-scale infrastructure projects means we have a clear understanding of our contractual responsibilities in delivering on time and on budget and to agreed specifications and, in doing so, the importance of maintaining a safe working environment. We have considerable experience with civil engineering contracts such as ICE and NEC3 and are continually investing in staying at the forefront of our industry.  For example,  all our records are BIM-ready.

Our services include a range of pre-and post- planning determination services like geophysical survey, field-walking, topographic survey, coring and historic building recording, as well as trial trenching, excavation and watching briefs.


A well-executed archaeological evaluation is essential to understanding development risk. We design evaluations to ask the key questions and work closely with our site teams to collect the right information in the field. We use the results to help our clients consider their options going forward, reducing the risk of time delays and controlling costs.


One of Headland’s primary objectives is to identify, as early as possible, the character and extent of the archaeological constraints on our clients’ sites. Our geophysicists can use an array of different methods of geophysical survey. They will assess and devise the most effective methodologies to use with your site.


If archaeological remains cannot be avoided, or protected safely within the development, excavation is a method of preservation by record. Our job is to define a strategy and methodology that records a site as appropriate to its importance whilst balancing commercial considerations. Then it’s all about delivering safely, on time and on budget.

Historic Building Recording

Many historic buildings are protected through planning and so any demolition, alteration or refurbishment will need a programme of archaeological recording. Our specialist team of surveyors can quickly assess the level of work required, and likely costs, through a site visit and archival research, giving our clients the information they need to plan ahead.


Our Geoarchaeologists have a range specialist skills that can be applied to soil and sediments, both, on and off-shore, to gain an understanding of the sub-surface archaeology, ancient landscapes and changing environments.


A ‘watching brief’ is one of our most frequently requested services. Though simple in terms of scope and pricing, used in the wrong situation, they can be very difficult to deliver and can be extremely risky to a contractor’s programme. Headland has a large team of experienced monitoring archaeologists who can ensure you are not delayed.

Archaeological Clerk of Works

The construction of large wind farms and other major infrastructure projects has seen the emergence of a new service in archaeology – the Archaeological Clerk of Works (ACoW). This role is often specified as a condition attached to planning consent. On a busy construction project with multiple sub-contractors, the resident Archaeological Clerk of Works can be indispensable, joining a team of Environmental and Ecological Clerks of Works advising the construction project management team. Headland has been at the forefront of developing this new service to the construction sector.