Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
ED3 Reduced-depth, non-inversion cultivation on archaeological features (minimum till) 60 points per ha

Where removal of archaeological features from cultivation is not practicable, reducing cultivation depth is a ‘next-best’ option. Shallow cultivation reduces the risk of damage to archaeological features on farmland. This option may be applied to the whole, or part, of the field where the archaeological feature is located, depending on what is practical on your farm. The reduction in cultivation depth must be achieved by using non-inversion (minimum tillage) machinery – not standard inversion ploughing equipment.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Avoid deep soil disturbance by using shallow, non-inversion cultivations to a maximum depth of 10 cm (4 inches) or by using no-till practices.
  • Do not sub-soil or mole-plough.
  • Do not use machinery under conditions likely to cause rutting or compaction.
  • Do not grow maize, root and tuber crops (excluding non-harvestable root crops such as grazed fodder beet and forage turnips), short rotation coppice or miscanthus.
  • If sowing a spring crop, maintain the previous overwintered stubble until 14 February.
  • Do not use the area as farm access.

This Roman mosaic was discovered a
few inches under cultivated land

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