"Heritage and Science: Working Together in the CARE of Rock Art" is a valuable new project that aims to develop materials and research that will aid in the protection of threatened open-air rock art in Northumberland and beyond.

Rock art is an iconic part of the UK’s prehistoric heritage, with at least 3500 panels still known to be in existence. This rock art derives from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods and date between 6000 and 3800 years ago. It is a common misconception that as this work has existed for so long it does not require active management.

Scientific appraisal of rock art in Northumberland has highlighted that due to factors such as climate change and local environmental conditions rock art has deteriorated at a faster rate in the last 50 years than in any of the preceding 6000. Further research will be undertaken through this project in order to add to this scientific understanding.

It is vital that a joint approach between heritage and science be undertaken in order to ensure rock art is not lost. CARE aims to co-produce a user friendly toolkit and management “how to guide” for the use of specialists and non-specialists alike to gather the information essential for the protection and long term management of open-air rock art. 

Please find a Fact Sheet that gives more background on the project.

Your Involvement

We need you to be a vital partner in this project in order to ensure that the resources produced are user friendly, useful and simple. We will be consulting heritage professionals, landowners and land agents, rock art enthusiasts and any other interested people through focus groups, pilot studies and information sharing.

We need your involvement in any of these activities, even if it is just being kept in touch with the project, so that we can co-produce with you the best resources possible.

The tool kit will aim to collect the scientific data necessary to gain an understanding of the condition of the rock art but must do so in a user friendly way. The management guide will give sensible and practical steps that can be undertaken to help preserve the rock art. We also want to be able to disseminate these resources as widely as possible so that as much open-air rock art can be evaluated as possible.


There is a Facebook page for rock art in the British Isles.