Creating opportunities

Chris Cox was taught by Dr Derrick Riley on a one to one basis at the University of Sheffield, where she gained an MA in Air Photo Interpretation in the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory. Derrick Riley, who served in the RAF during WW2, was committed to teaching young people and passing on his knowledge of aerial archaeology, air photo interpretation, mapping and aerial survey techniques to his students.

As professional archaeologists and air photo interpreters, we are committed to continuing Derrick Riley's provision of student mentoring, assistance with research, and individual opportunities for work experience subject to our professional commitments.

nvq assessment

In 2012, Chris became an assessor for the Institute for Archaeologists National Vocational Qualification (NVQ Level 3) in Archaeological Practice, and assesses NVQ students whose work involves the use of aerial imagery.


In March 2013, Sophie Hazell joined us for a week of work experience. Sophie was then a year 11 student at Malmesbury School in Wiltshire and a senior member of the Swindon Young Archaeologists Club (YAC). An intelligent and hard working young woman, Sophie worked alongside Chris during a normally busy week which saw the completion of a client consultation with a solicitor, a day spent in a Local Authority Historic Environment Record preparing to input a project to HBSMR databases and preparation for a fieldtrip to Avebury and its environs for a visiting Italian archaeologist, Dr Marina Nuovo. Despite freezing cold weather and driving rain, Sophie contributed really positively to the field trip and learned a lot about the basics of field observation, air photo interpretation, commercial archaeology, consultancy and the preparation of accounts as it was also the end of our VAT quarter. Sophie continues to undertake paid work on occasions for Air Photo Services and has earned an excellent reference despite her recorded dislike of the music of David Bowie, which is apparently played too often and too loudly in the company vehicle. Sophie has gone on to study for a qualification in accountancy and is also now working at Monsoon in Swindon. She returned to Air Photo Services in 2015 to supervise and assist Bethany Hicks who recently completed her work experience with us.

In October 2013, Air Photo Services sponsored a school expedition to Everest Basecamp in Nepal as part of the Extreme Classrooms 'Highest Classroom' expedition to Everest, which is the subject of a BBC documentary.

The aerial photographs on the slideshow at the top of this page were taken by Dr Vedrana Glavas, an archaeologist at the University of Zadar, Croatia. A talented archaeologist and aerial photographer, Vedrana was trained by Rog Palmer and it is a pleasure to feature her work, which records the wild and mountainous landscape and upland archaeological sites of Velebit in Croatia. Vedrana also supplied the photograph which we used for our Christmas e-card and we'd be really pleased to receive examples of students work which are suitable for this use, which will of course be fully acknowledged and most appreciated.