Archaeology can be an unquantifiable and potentially expensive consideration for property and infrastructure developers during the planning process. Modern and historic aerial images are a unique source of non-intrusive archaeological information. They can reveal the location of buried remains such as ditches, settlements, funerary sites, landscape boundaries, roads and track ways via their effects on growing crops, the colour of the soil or their upstanding and vestigial 'earthwork' remains.

Air Photo Services provides a swift, commercially aware, academically informed and professional service to archaeologists, Local Authorities, utilities, developers and consultants.

We have access to archives of modern and historical aerial photographs - the black and white image AGB 44 at the side of this page was taken by Dr J K St Joseph in July 1962 and is held at the Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography. Our Swindon office is close to the English Heritage Archive, which provides access to vertical and oblique aerial photos covering the whole of England, including the Aerofilms collection, dating from the early 20th century. Similar archives are accessed for Wales and Scotland at CADW and RCAHMS. We routinely access more modern digital archives of aerial imagery, which provide input to UK online AP geo-portals, such as Google Earth and Bing and provide comprehensive AP searching services.

Our professional air photo interpretation, detailed mapping and assessment reports assist to fulfil pre and post determination Local Authority planning requirements under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

We assist our clients to eliminate unnecessary expenditure during intrusive archaeological investigations and minimise the risk of unexpected discovery, by focusing additional and intrusive investigations on areas of known archaeological importance.

We assist in the location and mitigation of buried and upstanding features on the ground which may not be visible by other means. Detailed interpretation of aerial imagery accurately locates and maps heritage assets which are visible from the air to geo-referenced Ordnance Survey map bases, for Heritage Desk Based Assessment (DBA), landscape and conservation management planning, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and major infrastructure developments.

Our survey is totally non-intrusive, confidential and highly informative to the formulation of pragmatic mitigation strategies at all stages of the planning process.