Identifying and protecting nationally important sites in Oxfordshire, West Berkshire and Hampshire

OA South’s Heritage Management Services has been involved over the past year delivering projects for Historic England’s National Heritage Protection Plan, a strategy designed to identify heritage that matters most and is at greatest risk

One such project is an assessment of the use of agri-environment schemes, which aims to highlight whether the mechanisms used within environmental stewardship have allowed non-scheduled nationally important sites to be identified and preserved. It examines how issues have been prioritised, and whether appropriate consultation has been permitted. In addition, it will establish where cross- or multi-issue gains have been made with single grant payments, suggest how the scheme may better identify, record and map potentially nationally important sites in grassland and, to a lesser extent, arable landscapes.

The assessment looks at case studies in Oxfordshire, West Berkshire and Hampshire, and lessons drawn from the study will be rolled out in 2016 to coincide with the introduction of a new land management scheme.