While the UK is a small country compared to most, no less does it bear the marks of its predecessors. These areas of the surroundings which display past interaction between people and places are called the historic environment.
The historic environment includes many areas which have been considered important to society, and are protected by law. These are called heritage assets and make up the parts of the historic environment that is considered of great value.
Laws offers protection for heritage assets, and these laws have developed over the years. They help define what exactly makes a heritage asset, why it is valued and worthy of protection. These laws refer to various architectural, historic, artistic, traditional and archaeological interests, including the character that derives from those attributes.
Terms such as ‘significance’, are defined and encompass many different interests that may be worthy of the designation of a heritage asset. These interests may be archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic.