The Marsh Community Archaeology Awards

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The Council for British Archaeology is delighted to partner with the Marsh Charitable Trust in delivering the Marsh Community Archaeology Awards. The Trust supports organisations and people who make a difference within the charity sector. We fully support the Trust's view that it is people who are at the heart of the charity sector and who voluntarily or professionally go above and beyond to make a difference.

The Marsh Community Archaeology Awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of these people who are committed to social, cultural, and environmental causes.

2023 Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 Marsh Community Archaeology Awards. To find out about our winners, highly commended and shortlisted nominees, please see below or watch this short film with interviews with our winning and highly comended nominees

Learn more about the Marsh Charitable Trust Learn more about the Marsh Charitable Trust

The Foundation

The Marsh Charitable Trust was founded in 1981 with the sum of £75,000 by its current Chairman, Mr Brian Marsh OBE. His aim was to create a sustainable way to give something back to society, by supporting the organisations and people who are making a difference, as best he could.

From the outset the Trust has aimed to create long-standing relationships with the organisations it supports and partners through both its principal areas of work; the Grants Programme and the Awards Scheme.

The Trust supports around 350 charities every year through the Grants Programme and gives around 80 different Awards to individuals and groups from across the charity sector, who make a difference to a cause that they believe in.

The awards showcase excellence in archaeology, celebrating the passion and dedication of individuals and the outstanding contribution of archaeology projects which create social, cultural and environmental benefit.



The Awards have 4 categories...

  • Community Archaeologist of the Year - This award recognises an individual volunteer or professional who is going above and beyond their role to contribute to community archaeology. 
  • Community Archaeology Project of the Year - This award recognises and promotes the results of research and/or fieldwork led by community groups which have made a substantial contribution to knowledge and wellbeing. 
  • Young Archaeologist of the Year - This award is for a young person under the age of 18 who has made an outstanding contribution to community archaeology or a youth engagement project.
  • Youth Engagement Project of the Year - This award is for a project that has made an outstanding contribution to archaeology and youth engagement, ensuring that the participation of young people was central to the delivery of the work.

Community Archaeologist of the Year 

Arran Johnson - WINNER Arran Johnson - WINNER

Arran Johnson is community engagement officer with York Archaeology. He has been instrumental in the development and delivery of their Archaeology on Prescription programme and Arran has made it his personal goal to ensure that anyone who wishes to take part is able to, regardless of their accessibility needs, including adapting trowel techniques to allow participants with limited mobility to take part in excavating, and developing new training excavations aimed at children aged 8-12.



Nina O’Hare Nina O’Hare

Nina O’Hare is a community archaeologist and Young Archaeologists’ Club leader in Worcestershire. Nina led the Small Pits, Big Ideas project from planning through funding to organising and final reporting with enthusiasm, recognising the important contributions to be made by small discoveries and leading by example.




Penny Horner is the secretary of the Ardnamurchan History and Heritage Association (AHHA) and her energy, enthusiasm and dedication was critical in delivering The Real Wild West: Adopt-a-Monument on Ardnamurchan through outreach with the wider community and bringing together a number of the programmes outputs, including helping to complete the major reinterpretation of ten “Adopted” sites on the peninsula.

The Real Wild West: Adopt-a-Monument on Ardnamurchan programme, delivered by Archaeology Scotland is funded through the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by NatureScot on behalf of the Scottish Government and match funded by Historic Environment Scotland.



Simon Carroll Simon Carroll

After leaving teaching due to a spinal injury, Simon Carroll began researching sites for local communities to get involved with. From discovering new prehistoric sites to encouraging villagers to field-walk during Covid, building an Iron Age style roundhouse and developing teaching resource packs for schools, Simon is keen to promote grassroots archaeology by keeping talks simple and giving people an opportunity to ask questions, without feeling intimidated.




Community Project of the Year

Small Pits, Big Ideas - WINNER Small Pits, Big Ideas - WINNER

Small Pits, Big Ideas encouraged local residents across 6 sites in Worcestershire to open up their gardens and participate in unearthing the past. Supported by experienced archaeologists, mentors, students and local archaeology groups, over 400 people took part in digging test pits and processing the finds.

A partnership between Worcestershire Archaeological Society, Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology ServiceGreen Fingers ProjectBadsey SocietyBewdley Historical Research GroupNorth Worcestershire Archaeology Group and Wichenford Local Heritage Group. With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.



Digging Harlaxton - HIGHLY COMMENDED Digging Harlaxton - HIGHLY COMMENDED

Digging Harlaxton was a month-long field school with a commitment to being a truly inclusive programme. Developed by Harlaxton College in 2022 and involving participants from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, it focused on developing and enhancing the methodological and practical field skills of participants through excavation of Harlaxton Manor while being actively tailored to accommodate any range of physical requirements and support mental health needs.



Wings to the Past CIC Wings to the Past CIC

Since 2019 Wings to the Past CIC has supported over 60 RAF personnel and their families gain personal resilience through archaeology. Following an initial 10-day excavation and post-excavation exhibition, the project returned post-Covid supported by Dr Derwin Gregory, Head of Archaeology at Bishop Grosseteste University, to carry out a 2-day field walking project on a multi-period site near RAF Waddington. It is planned that this activity will be repeated for another group later in the year when it is hoped the wider community will be able to mix with the Service personnel.




Young Archaeologist of the Year

Roisin O’Toole - WINNER Roisin O’Toole - WINNER

Rosie is a Young Leader at two Young Archaeologists’ Club branches and is a passionate and active community archaeologist with 9 years of fieldwork experience, despite being 17.

She is always happy to talk about her experiences and encourages other young people to get involved in archaeology.






Tilly is a budding archaeologist who loves history! In her spare time she spends hours digging away at the beach or strolling through museums learning everything she can.

Her passion is contagious, and she has gotten several friends, her classmates and her family into the subject.

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Youth Engagement Project of the Year

Kelsae Archaeology Project - WINNER Kelsae Archaeology Project - WINNER

The Kelsae Archaeology Project was co-created and delivered by young people from Kelso High which saw them record and research historic buildings in Kelso town centre using clay to create a blueprint of the town with the local buildings they had investigated on it. The project allowed the young people to build links with their community, engage with a range of community groups, showcase what they had achieved and celebrate their success.

The Kelsae Archaeology Project was a collaboration between young people and staff at Kelso High School, Archaeology Scotland’s Learning Team, the Community Learning and Development Service at Scottish Borders Council and QME Care, with additional support from a number of local heritage and community groups.



Co. Fermanagh’s Vernacular Heritage - HIGHLY COMMENDED Co. Fermanagh’s Vernacular Heritage - HIGHLY COMMENDED

Co. Fermanagh’s Vernacular Heritage was a 3-month youth engagement project by Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) to involve school children in their local built heritage and social history by interviewing the oldest person they know about their life in the early- to mid-20th century and presenting their findings at intergenerational events.

Funding from the Historic Environment Fund (Department for Communities Northern Ireland).

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