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Dr Sophie Laidler

Community Archaeology and Impact Officer

Community Archaeology and Impact Officer in the Department of Archaeology


I am a Community Archaeology and Impact Officer at the Department of Archaeology, Durham University. My primary research interest is the impact of archaeological research and how as archaeologists, we can enhance our engagement with wider communities.


Since 2006, I have worked and volunteered in academic, volunteer and developer-led initiatives in the UK and abroad on a diverse range of sites dating from prehistoric to early modern periods in both rural and urban contexts.

In 2008 I was awarded an undergraduate degree in Archaeology from the School of Historical Studies, Newcastle University. Subsequently, I undertook an English Heritage funded research masters, titled Contemporary and Competing Vista’s Public Perceptions of Wearmouth and Jarrow. The research was a facet of the English Heritage funded Wearmouth and Jarrow, One Monastery in Two Places historical landscape project which was led by academics from Durham and Newcastle Universities. In 2014, I returned to Durham University to undertake a Northern Bridge AHRC doctoral studentship titled the Impact of Archaeology in the North-East of England. This research highlighted the benefits associated with archaeological research in the region in addition to the challenges and opportunities associated with outreach and wider societal engagement.

In 2019, I was appointed as an Archaeology Officer for Tyne and Wear to ensure that the impacts of proposed developments upon archaeological resources were mitigated in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and local policies in addition to maintaining and updating Tyne and Wear’s Historic Environment Records.

In 2023, I was appointed in my current role as Community Archaeology and Impact Officer.

Research Interests

Evaluation of the impact of archaeological research

Enhancing engagement with local communities

Cultural Resource Management

Archaeological fieldwork