Department for Culture Media and Sport

protecting the historic environment

Our aim is that England’s historic environment should be conserved, enhanced and enjoyed for the quality of life it brings to current and future generations.

Heritage assets

Those parts of the historic environment that are valued because of their historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest are known as 'heritage assets'. Some heritage assets have a level of interest that justifies statutory protection through designation.

Our responsibilities

We are responsible for designating, re-designating and de-designating the following categories of heritage asset:

We are also responsible for determining applications for:

  • scheduled monument consent
  • licenses to dive on protected wreck sites

Together with English Heritage, we also work closely with other departments, such as the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ensure that the delivery of government policy affords appropriate protection to England’s historic environment and heritage assets.

We also work with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to coordinate UK nominations for World Heritage Sites.