Catchment Sensitive Farming and resource protection initiatives

Catchment Sensitive Farming Resource protection initiatives to reduce diffuse water pollution, such as Catchment Sensitive Farming and Soils for Profit, can have impacts on the historic environment. For example:

  • Linear archaeological features in a subsoiled fieldSubsoiling and disturbance of soil below the usual cultivation depth to address soil compaction is extremely destructive of archaeological sites
  • New fencing, watercourse crossings, gates, hardcore tracks, sediment ponds, biobeds, underwater storage tanks and feeding/watering facilities also have potential to impact on archaeological features.
  • Relocating arable or overwintering cattle to flatter land can increase the risk of damage to archaeology on previously well-preserved sites.
  • New hedgebanks can normally be planned to respect and strengthen existing landscape character if the historic character of the landscape is taken into account and material is not taken from archaeologically sensitive sites.
  • Creation of woodland has an effect on landscape character and potential impact on buried archaeological remains.
  • Works to separate clean and dirty water and roof over yards may impact on historic farmstead character.

You can contact us on plans to change management, for information on archaeological features, and how to limit damage to them and the character of the historic landscape.

CSF capital grants are conditional on avoiding damage to the historic environment (section 4.1 of the handbook):

“Check that the work won’t damage features such as:

  •      biodiversity;
  •     landscape; or
  •     historic environment.

Local CSFOs can help with this and advise what capital work could be carried out and help identify opportunities for water quality improvement.

Assess the environmental impact

Assess the impact of the work on the environment and include the findings with the application.

Consider the impact of the work on environmental features such as traditional farm buildings or bank-side vegetation. For example, if:

  •  concreting a historic cobbled yard this may damage or destroy historic features;
  •  fencing watercourses may damage bank side vegetation if it’s no longer grazed.

Reduce the environmental impact

Make sure capital items are placed so they don’t damage historic or archaeological features. These include those shown on the local authority’s historic environment record or an environmental stewardship farm environmental record or a farm environment plan.

Plan the route of new fencing and gateways so that they blend with the landscape and don’t damage historic environmental features.

Consider environmental features when moving stock and vehicles”.

More advice is available in this Catchment Sensitive Farming advice note.