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Conditions of use

Dorset Council is committed to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the historic environment. To ensure that information from the Dorset Historic Environment Record (HER) is used responsibly, those applying to consult it are asked to provide details about the nature of their enquiry and agree to our conditions of use.

Dorset Council will:

1. Aim to acknowledge HER enquiries submitted using our online enquiry form within two working days, and to respond to emails and written communications within 10 working days. 

2. Aim to respond to straightforward HER search requests within 10 working days and to all requests within 20 working days.

3. Refuse a request for information if it is manifestly unreasonable or formulated in too general a manner. 

4. Deny access to all or part of the information requested in certain circumstances. Information may not be disclosed if: 

  • It relates to the subject matter of any legal or other proceedings, actual or prospective (including Local Planning Inquiries)
  • It relates to confidential, internal communications of Dorset Council
  • It is contained in a document or other record which is still in the course of completion.
  • It was supplied to the council by another party who was under no legal obligation to do so and could not have been put under any legal obligation to supply it and has not consented to its disclosure
  • Its disclosure would increase the likelihood of damage to the environment affecting anything to which the information relates.

5. Withhold information because of its nature and the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.  In particular, we cannot provide information about the owners or occupiers of particular monuments or areas. On occasion, in very special circumstances, we may approach landowners on an enquirer's behalf. You should not expect us to do this as a matter of course.

6. Charge for a licence for use of HER data for a set period which is usually six months.

7. Waive charges for non-commercial enquiries. A licence may be used (without charge) when large amounts of data are being supplied in a digital format.

8. Charge all users for printing and other incidental expenses. 

9. Inform users of costs and the period of any licence before their enquiry is processed.

10. Provide HER information in digital format by email, unless another method is agreed.

11. Make every effort to verify the data held in the Dorset HER. Dorset Council cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of any particular data and its source. 

12. Reserve all rights of Copyright which are owned in the material provided. Dissemination to a third party without the written consent of the Senior Archaeologist is a breach of copyright.

HER users will:

1. Inform Dorset Council of the subject and purpose of their enquiry, the use to which the information will be put, and the names of any other bodies or individuals outside their organisation to whom it is intended to pass HER information.

2. Use HER information only for the purpose stated on the enquiry form.

3. Keep HER information only for the period of the licence. If a licence is not used, keep HER information only for the life of the project for which it is required.

4. Tell the HER of any inaccuracies or omissions identified in the data provided.

5. Share the results of research with the HER. For example, a report in digital format and shapefiles of GIS data.

6. Make appropriate acknowledgement of the Dorset HER in any publication or report which has made use of its data.

7. Ensure that copyright law is not breached. The Dorset HER is the copyright of Dorset Council. Some information held in the HER may also be the copyright of others.

8. Take care of the data provided, and ensure that it is used responsibly and legally. 

And, when a licence is used:

1.  HER data is provided for the sole use of the licensee for the purposes specified and will not be passed on to third parties or used for purposes other than that for which it was supplied.

2. The HER data will not be used for purposes which damage archaeological sites, historic buildings or historic landscapes (except in the normal course of the purpose specified, for example as part of the planning process). Misuse of the information provided may result in the licensee being denied access to HER information in the future.

3. The use of the HER data is normally licenced for 6 months. Requests to extend the licence period must be made not less than 10 working days before the expiry of the licence. It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that updated information is obtained from the Dorset HER where there is a significant delay between the supply of HER data and the production of a report.

4. On expiry of the licence period the licensee will erase all copies of the HER data held in digital form. The licensee must provide written confirmation to the HER that this has been carried out within 5 working days of the expiry of the licence.

5. The data is the copyright of Dorset Council and should not be reproduced in the public domain without the written permission of the HER, except as an abstract in documents explicitly covered by the licence agreement. Dorset Council retains its right to use legal proceedings to protect its copyright.

6. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of HER data, Dorset Council bears no legal responsibility for the accuracy or comprehensiveness of the data provided and accepts no liability for indirect, consequential or incidental damages or losses arising from use of the data.

7. The HER should be suitably acknowledged as the source of the information.

8. The licensee will provide a digital copy of each report produced as a result of using the HER data for inclusion in the HER.

9. Failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions of this agreement will be construed as a breach of these terms and conditions and will result in the immediate termination of the licence. On receiving notification that a licence has been terminated the licensee will immediately erase or otherwise destroy all copies of the HER data. The licensee must provide written confirmation to the Historic Environment team that this has been carried out within 5 working days of the termination of the licence.

Data management

Access to information held in the Historic Environment Record is available under the provision of Section 141 (1) of the 1972 Local Government Act and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Dorset Council supports the objectives of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Dorset Council will keep your information securely and use it only for the purpose of processing HER enquiries. Some of the information will be used to assemble very basic anonymised statistics about HER use and users for each year. Shortly after the end of each year we 'weed out' our enquiries file and dispose of personal details. The precise timing of this depends on our workload but we aim to do it within three months.


Make your Historic Environment Record enquiry

Enquirers are encouraged to use our online enquiry form which prompts users to give us the information we need to accept and respond quickly to enquiries.

Please feel free to contact the HER to discuss your requirements before submitting an enquiry.

Historic Environment Record

Name: Claire Pinder, Senior Archaeologist
Tel: 01305 224921
Full contact details for Historic Environment Record

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General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.