Habitat restoration schemes

Projects to enhance or restore habitat for biodiversity or resource protection can have impacts on the historic environment and archaeology.

This can include:

  • Scrapes have potential to damage below-ground archaeologyDeafforestation including groundworks to level forestry ridges, and the removal of roots, can cause extensive damage to archaeological features.
  • Topsoil stripping or deep ploughing to reduce nutrient content can destroy or expose shallow archaeological features, leaving them vulnerable to degradation and destruction.
  • Creation of new banks can alter landscape character if not in keeping with historic field patterns.
  • Scrapes to create bare or wet ground can have a direct impact on buried archaeological remains, or an indirect impact from machinery crossings, changes in water levels, etc.
  • Introduction of water supplies, fencing, etc for grazing can alter landscape character and impact directly on archaeological remains.

Check with an archaeologist prior to drawing up plans for schemes, to ensure that impacts on the historic environment can be avoided or, where appropriate, mitigated. Recent examples include:

  • Archaeological survey of important WWII military features, to inform future management including the location and methods of new scrapes and scrub clearance to avoid direct impacts on buried archaeology and enhance the setting of upstanding features.
  • Archaeological monitoring and recording funded by Natural England for topsoil stripping in an area of archaeological potential near a prehistoric funerary landscape, resulting in the recovery of prehistoric artefacts.
  • New hedgebanks created on the exact line of medieval field boundaries that had been removed in the twentieth century, strengthening historic landscape character.