HS5: Management of historic and archaeological features on grassland

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the management of historic and archaeological features on grassland option.

How much will be paid

£30 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this option

Available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier

  • only on historic and archaeological features on parcels of permanent grassland

The permanent grassland may form a mosaic with other vegetation types, such as heathland and moorland

Where this option cannot be used

  • on land parcels of more than 15ha above the moorland line

How this option will benefit the environment

It maintains permanent grassland on historic and archaeological features.

Maintaining these features will conserve the character of the farm and protect England’s heritage for future generations. This option may also maintain and conserve landscape character.

If successful there will be:

  • a well-managed grass sward covering the feature
  • very little bare soil
  • no scrub or bracken
  • no poaching or erosion
  • no burrowing animals
  • no farm tracks within 6m of the feature


  • maintain a continuous grass sward or vegetation cover so that no more than 5% of the features develop bare patches or erosion
  • make sure scrub, bracken or pernicious weeds cover no more than 5% of the features
  • make sure vehicle or stock access routes are at least 6m away from the feature (existing surfaced tracks can be used)

Do not:

  • plough, cultivate or re-seed
  • harrow or roll
  • apply supplementary feed on or within 6m of the feature

Keeping records

Agreement holders will need to keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices

On your annual claim you will be asked to declare that you haven’t carried out any activities prohibited by the option requirements.

You should also be aware that at the start of each claim year, a percentage of agreement holders will be asked to take and submit the following photographic records:

  • photographs of the management undertaken

All applicants will need to send the following with their application:

  • a map of existing tracks

These options and supplements can be located on the same area as this option::

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

The following section gives advice on carrying out this option successfully but does not form part of the requirements for this option.

Plan drainage works

Installing or maintaining drainage systems can damage historic and archaeological features. To avoid damage install access points outside the feature so that drains can be maintained without having to excavate.

Further information

The following Historic England guide may be of use:

See the Mid Tier manual or Higher Tier manual to find out more about the scheme and how to apply.

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 10 March 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated for 2017 applications.
  2. Information updated for applications in 2016.
  3. First published.