ARCHIVE: Entry Level Stewardship Handbook 2005 (PB10355)

Archaeological sites, traditional buildings, and designed landscapes such as parkland, give the countryside its local character and interest, as well as providing a record of human activity over centuries. Changes in agriculture have damaged or destroyed many of these features or resulted in their dereliction. Beneficial management can protect these important sites and help to retain and enhance the distinctive and varied character of the countryside.

Before considering these options, please look carefully at your Environmental Information Map, which has been supplied by RDS. This may show some of the historic features on your farm. If you are aware of additional features, you must also mark these on your Farm Environment Record map and label them, including listed and unlisted traditional buildings. You can obtain further information and guidance from a leaflet entitled ‘Farming the Historic Landscape: Entry Level Stewardship’. This leaflet is available from

If you have historic features (including archaeological sites and traditional farm buildings) on your farm, you must meet the relevant scheme conditions detailed at section 5.6 of this handbook. If you wish to carry out works other than those specified in the measures below which affect Scheduled Monuments, you must consult English Heritage.

Protection of archaeological features

Archaeological features, both individual sites such as barrows, settlement sites or hill forts, and more extensive landscape features such as ridge and furrow and ancient field systems, are often our only record of past human activity. They cannot be replaced and, once destroyed, are gone forever. Cultivation can be particularly destructive. Taking these features out of cultivation is an essential step in conserving them for present and future generations to see and understand.

Please note that it is a requirement of joining ELS that you protect historic features (including archaeological sites and traditional farm buildings - see section 5.6).

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