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Historic Environment Record charges

The Dorset Historic Environment Record (HER) charging policy and scale of charges.

Charging policy

Charges are levied for a licence to re-use HER information for a specified commercial purpose. The level of charge depends on the number of monument records within the search area.

There will be no charge for:

  • reasonable enquiries from the public, local schools or societies to meet an educational or community service need, and which promote better understanding of the historic environment
  • enquiries for academic research aiming to improve understanding of the historic environment
  • media enquiries with an educational benefit in interpreting Dorset's historic environment

There will be a charge for:

  • commercial enquiries relating to the prospective purchase or development of land or historic buildings
  • enquires where data is being collected for commercial use such as commercial publication
  • enquires of a complex nature requiring intensive staff time

Our charging policy is based on guidance from the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers in particular on Sites and Monuments Records: Policies for Access and Charging (Association of County Archaeological Officers, 1993) and Charging for Archaeological Curatorial Services: Advice note, Some Legal and Policy Issues (ALGAO, May 2012).

Scale of charges

Charges for non-commercial enquiries

Charges are waived for enquiries for non-commercial and educational use, or personal research, except where searches require extensive work. We will always tell you in advance if this is likely, or we may suggest that you modify your enquiry.

Charges for printing and other incidental expenses

The costs of paper, printing and other incidental expenses may be charged to all users. Charges will be made according to the Environment and Economy Directorate's current scale of charges: photocopying/printing A4 sheet 3p per side or 5p for double-sided black and white copies, and 8p per side or 15p for double-sided colour copies. Users may also be asked to pay for postage and packing, where applicable.

Charges for commercial enquiries

Charges are levied for a licence to re-use HER information for a specified commercial purpose. The level of charge depends on the number of monument records within the search area. No charge is made for a visit to the HER if recommended by us. The HER team will supervise the user and assist as required.

Experienced users may make an appointment to search the HER database and library in person. This must be agreed by the HER, and we must be satisfied that you have sufficient experience of using HBSMR (the software package used for the HER database).  You will be given a brief introduction to the HER space and other facilities, but no additional assistance will be provided. Where the data is being obtained for commercial use, a charge will be made.

Read more about types of HER search.

Type of searchCharge
Strategic (available GIS data only) £100
Basic £60
Standard (0 to 50 monument records) £75
Extended (51 to 150 monument records) £125
Large (150 monument records +) or complex Discuss with HER
Self-service Standard (0 to 50 monument records) £50
Self-service Extended (51 to 150 monument records) £100

Dorset Council does not charge VAT on charges for HER enquiries.

All charges are subject to review.


If a charge is being made you will be sent an invoice and instructions about payment.  At the time of making the enquiry you will be asked to provide a purchase order number or written confirmation that one is not required for our invoice to be processed. When visiting in person and photocopying is the only charge, payment will normally be requested on receipt.

Additional resources

Historic Environment Record enquiry

Guidance for Historic Environment Record users.

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