Monuments at Risk Survey
Since 1985 a system of monitoring the condition of scheduled ancient monuments (SAMs) has been undertaken by Cadw Field Monument Wardens (FMWs). The FMW system has provided a first point of contact for Cadw with the owners and occupiers of sites. Five-yearly visits have been made to SAMs enabling the collection of statistics regarding the improvement / deterioration of sites, the distribution of literature, the initiation of management agreements and grants, the provision of environmental advice and a rapid response to general / specific queries and problems.
The FMW monitoring system, which has provided 25 years of data published in county reports and pan-Wales synoptic reports, has now been enhanced to facilitate a Monuments at Risk survey. The aims of the Monuments at Risk survey are to support the protection and conservation of the historic environment in Wales, as set out in the objectives of the Welsh Government and wider legislative frameworks. Information on monitoring and evaluation, made available to the public via an annual return, will raise the public profile of scheduled ancient monuments
The Monuments at Risk survey has been designed to ensure that a robust evidence base will provide a better understanding of the state of the historic environment: to identify where improvements can be made; and to prioritise monuments to receive Cadw funding and other resources. The determination of the risk level of a monument will be based on the assessment of current condition, the trend of condition and vulnerability to various threats.
The survey will be undertaken in partnership with other organisations. A coordinated aerial survey programme will be undertaken by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW). Monuments at Risk data will be made available to the RCAHMW and Welsh Archaeological Trusts to inform decisions prioritising survey and excavation.