Vast extent of the fortifications surprises archaeologists who used new technology and the knowledge of local historians

The full extent of the networks of trenches and defensive fortifications built in England during the first world war has been revealed in the first major survey of its kind.

Detailing how resources were concentrated along England’s eastern and southern coasts – where the main thrust by an invading German army was expected to come – the study draws on existing periodicals and local history as well as LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data gleaned from the use of lasers by the Environment Agency to plot the bumps and dips of British topography.

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