Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Handbook 2013 (NE349)
UPDATED in 2013
UD13 Maintaining visibility of archaeological features on moorland
53 points per feature

A Roman bank south of Hadrian’s Wall


This option is only available on SDA land above the Moorland Line. It can only be used on part-fields.

This option aims to retain archaeological features in the uplands as visible features in the landscape: ie the features should already be visible at the start of the agreement. Archaeological features in the uplands are often better preserved than their lowland counterparts as they have not suffered the same intense activity. The uplands are therefore important reservoirs of information about our past, how humans have interacted with their environment and how they have adapted to change over the centuries, including past climate change.

This option can only be used on archaeological features shown on your Environmental Information Map or your FER. You can obtain information about archaeological features on your farm from your local Historic Environment Record (HER). For further information on HERs, see Appendix 2.

This option is not a whole parcel option but is intended to encompass an area large enough to include the whole of the archaeologically sensitive area and may include a suitable buffer. The total size of the feature and buffer should be no more than 50 m in radius. If scrub is present, use ELS option ED4 Management of scrub on archaeological features instead.

A feature can either be a single item on its own or a number of the same/related items in close proximity to each other (within the 50 m radius).

A number of features may be recognised in the same parcel of land. Linear features, such as a historic ditch, can be represented in lengths of 50 m. Stockproof walls and banks are not eligible.

For this option, you must comply with the following:

  • Obtain current, dated photographs of the feature as evidence of its condition when you joined the scheme, retain these photographs and submit a copy with your application.
  • Maintain the visibility of the archaeological feature.
  • Do not allow poaching or other activities that result in bare ground or ground disturbance on the feature.
  • Do not cause damage to the feature, for instance creating ruts by driving or allowing anyone else to drive over undamaged parts of the archaeological feature with any vehicle, including quad bikes and ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles).
  • Do not supplementary feed on or next to the feature.
  • Do not allow any scrub or bracken growth on the feature.
  • Do not cut vegetation between 1 March and 31 August to avoid the nesting season. Remove cuttings and brash from the site. Cutting by hand may be necessary to prevent damage.

Top: Wheel ruts and supplementary feeding are damaging the stone circle
Bottom: Changing the grazing management has improved the feature condition

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