Helping in the fight against heritage crime

Unfortunately, heritage crime is harming historic sites across the National Park and South West Wales area. You can help protect our historic landscapes by reporting issues to HeritageWatch.

About HeritageWatch

Working with Dyfed-Powys Police, Cadw and Dyfed Archaeological Trust, the National Park Authority set up HeritageWatch to:

  • Raise public awareness of sites at risk from heritage crime
  • Enable the public to report heritage crime
  • Provide training sessions on identifying heritage sites and recognising heritage crime
  • Monitor and patrol sites at risk of heritage crime
  • Carry out repairs at sites affected by heritage crime

Image of Gors Fawr standing stones with Heritage Watch partner logos (Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Cadw, Welsh Government, Dyfed-Powys Police and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority)


What is heritage crime?

Heritage crime is unlawful activity that harms historic buildings, monuments, military crash sites and landscapes. Scheduled monuments and listed buildings are protected in law and it is a criminal offence to destroy or damage them. Historic sites that aren’t in either of those two categories are also threatened by unlawful activity.

Examples of heritage crime include:
  • Illegal off-roading
  • Theft
  • Vandalism / graffiti
  • Criminal damage
  • Starting fires, including recreational fires and ritual burning
  • Disturbing burial sites
  • Illegal metal detecting
  • Removing or rearranging archaeological material
  • Destroying archaeological material
  • Unauthorised works on designated historic sites

Further information on heritage crime is available from Cadw

Some recent examples of heritage crimes damaging iconic monuments in the National Park: graffiti at Pentre Ifan Neolithic burial chamber (upper left); evidence of fire at Carn Ingli Camp (upper right), coins hammered into the pilgrim’s cross at Nevern (lower right) and rearrangement of a Bronze Age burial cairn at Carn Briw Round Cairn (lower left).

How you can help

There are several ways you can help tackle heritage crime.

1. Report heritage crime

Report issues that are affecting heritage sites by using one of the following options:

Whichever route you choose, it would be helpful to include the following:

  • Name of the historic feature (if known).
  • Useful information to help identify monuments can be found on the Cadw website for protected sites and the Archwilio website for undesignated sites.
  • Details of the incident
  • Date and time of incident, including when you witnessed the issue/s.
  • Location of the incident (address, post code, grid reference etc.)
  • Current status of the incident i.e. is it in progress
  • Photographs
2. Volunteer

Why not help us monitor the condition of heritage sites including those at risk from heritage crime? There may also be the opportunity to help carry out repairs. For more information, or to express an interest please contact archaeology@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk or call 01646 624830.

3. Stay up to date with HeritageWatch

Follow us on our HeritageWatch Facebook page or sign up to our HeritageWatch mailing list