Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
D Options for historic and landscape features

Archaeological features, 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 local landscape and wider countryside for generations to come.

Before considering these options, please look carefully at your Environmental Information Map, supplied as part of your application pack. 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 FER Map. You can obtain information about historic features on your land from the Historic Environment Record (HER) at www.heritagegateway.org.uk (see Appendix 2 for the full web address).

Further information and guidance is available in a leaflet entitled Farming the Historic Landscape: Entry Level Stewardship, available from www.helm.org.uk or Natural England (see Appendix 1 for contact details and Appendix 2 for a link).

Protection of archaeological features

Archaeological features – from individual sites, such as barrows, settlement sites or hill forts, to 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, they 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.

If you have historic features (including archaeological features and traditional farm buildings) on your farm, it is a requirement of joining ELS that you mark them on your FER and retain and protect them. This includes meeting the relevant scheme conditions detailed at Sections 5.5.4 and 5.5.5 of this handbook.

If you wish to carry out works (other than those specified in the measures below) that affect Scheduled Monuments, you must consult English Heritage.

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