The following paper was presented at the New Forest Knowledge Conference 2017 entitled: New Forest Historical Research and Archaeology: who’s doing it? Below you will find the abstract of the paper and a video of the paper given if permission to film it was given by the speaker.
Lawrence Shaw, New Forest National Park Authority & University of Winchester
In recent years, funding bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and Higher Level Stewardship schemes have help facilitate the development of volunteer lead heritage recording programs in the New Forest. Overseen by project officers, these not only help to record and protect archaeological assets but also engages local residents with this unique protected landscape. Whilst proven to be successful in their aims, these approaches regularly misses out on the engagement of younger audiences. Much like the rest of the heritage sector, 12-24 year olds have rarely engaged with this work, yet the importance of educating this age group with these landscapes is still as important as ever, not least because they will inherit these national assets in years to come. This research has looked to tackle this issue through the utilisation of new Big Data sets including social media and anonymised mobile data to help officers understand how this hard to reach audience see and uses the New Forest. By understanding this it may then be possible to develop new projects that engage this hard to reach audience in a way that was not previously possible whilst also gaining vital citizen science data that can be used to record and enhance the New Forest’s special heritage.