HS2: Take historic and archaeological features out of cultivation

Find out about eligibility and requirements for the take historic and archaeological features out of cultivation option.

How much will be paid

£425 per hectare (ha).

Where to use this option

It is available for Mid Tier and Higher Tier on whole or part parcels.

In Mid Tier you can use this option only:

  • on Scheduled Monuments on arable land or temporary grassland
  • with the written approval of Historic England as confirmed on your Historic Environment FER (HEFER) consultation response

In Higher Tier you can use this option:

  • on Scheduled Monuments where approved by Historic England and on historic or archaeological features identified in your HEFER

Where this option cannot be used

On land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) declared for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)

How this option will benefit the environment

It protects historic and archaeological features from damaging cultivation practices.

Depending on land use and location it may also:

  • reduce diffuse pollution
  • reduce soil erosion

Protecting historic and archaeological 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.

Requirements

You must:

  • use shallow cultivation on arable land to establish a grass or flower mixture
  • re-seed temporary grassland by slot seeding, making sure not to damage the existing sward
  • maintain a continuous grass sward over the feature
  • make sure vehicle or stock access routes are at least 6m away from the feature (existing surfaced tracks can be used)
  • agree with Natural England in writing all drainage works, including modification to existing drainage, before any works take place

Do not:

  • plough on earthwork sites when establishing grass or flower mixtures
  • harrow or roll
  • supplementary feed within 6m of the option area
  • allow scrub or bracken growth on the option area

Keeping records

You must submit the following with your application:

  • a map of existing tracks - you can mark these on any map, including your Farm Environment Record (FER)

On your annual claim you must declare that you have not carried out any activities prohibited by the option requirements.

You must keep the following records and supply them on request:

  • field operations at the parcel level, including associated invoices
  • written approval for the option from Historic England

You can locate these options and supplements on the same area as this option:

Advice and suggestions for how to carry out this option

The following advice is helpful, but they are not requirements for this item.

Pick the right location

Choose a boundary that includes all of the features and provides a practical field division.

Further information

The following guides, available from Historic England may also be useful:

  • Farming the historic landscape: caring for archaeological sites on arable land
  • Farming the historic landscape: caring for archaeological sites in grassland

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

Published 2 April 2015
Last updated 28 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. The Keeping records section has been updated

  2. From 1 January 2019, this option cannot be used on land already receiving funding for Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) declared for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).

  3. Updated for 2017 applications.

  4. Information updated for applications in 2016.

  5. First published.