Sutton Park is a publicly owned open space located on the northern side of the Birmingham conurbation. Much of the area is a ‘Scheduled Ancient Monument’ and it is included in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens; it is also recognized nationally as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve for its ecological and natural environmental value. As part of an English Heritage-funded initiative in partnership with Birmingham City Council to update the management plan for the historic and natural environment, a project was undertaken to assess knowledge of the palaeoenvironmental landscape. These resources included the extensive peaty deposits within the key drainage arteries and buried soils, preserved beneath earthworks such as the Roman Road and boundary banks of the medieval Deer Park.
The project comprised two stages. Firstly, a desk-based assessment was undertaken to characterize the known record using remotely sensed imagery (Lidar), historic mapping and HER data, as well as a review of published and ‘grey’ literature. This was followed by a field survey using hand augering and geomorphological mapping to determine the thickness, condition and post-depositional modification of the resource.