The English Heritage Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey (RCZAS) programme has produced a wealth of new information, with over 45 survey reports now completed. Alongside this, the offshore survey completed as part of the Marine Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund has increased understanding of early prehistoric coastal change, while other researchers have extended back the time scale for a human presence in England to at least 900,000 years. From a wider Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management perspective, there has been increased participation by English Heritage in Defra and Environment Agency initiatives.
It is apt, now, to review what has been achieved and learnt from the RCZAS and other recent coastal historic environment studies. The book will include an introduction to the coastal historic environment, a consideration of long-term coastal change, an outline of survey, recording and characterisation methodology, a national review of the coastal historic environment and a separate discussion of regional significance, a set of research priorities for the future, and a final section considering how England’s coastal heritage should be managed in the future. The fact that climate change will impact significantly, and mostly adversely, on the coastal historic environment, gives a special urgency to this new publication.