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EAA and EAC Working Group on farming, forestry and rural land management (PDF)

The Common Agricultural Policy and Europe's living landscapes: 
cultural heritage as a force for rural development.

The Common Agricultural Policy and Europe's living landscapes: cultural heritage as a force for rural development.

The farmed landscapes of Europe have developed through many centuries of interaction between people and nature and they continue to evolve. As well as supporting important natural assets and resources, these living landscapes also provide a vital repository of the European cultural inheritance in the form of historic features, archaeology, traditional buildings, distinctive settlements, and local customs, traditions and produce. Together they provide the diversity, beauty and sense of place that defines the European countryside.

This common European landscape inheritance is important for its own sake but also has the potential to benefit rural communities; to generate jobs and wealth; to attract inward investment; to foster a sense of European, national and local identity; and to promote social cohesion. 

Our farmed cultural landscapes should therefore be recognised as an important public good, a powerful force to promote successful rural development and an invaluable asset supporting regeneration, growth and economic recovery.

A joint statement on the future direction of the Common Agricultural Policy has been issued (July 2010) by a coalition of leading non-governmental organisations concerned with the European landscape, cultural heritage, rural tourism and rural communities. by Europae Archaeologiae Consilium, Europa Nostra, the European Association of Archaeologists, the European Council for the Village and Small Town, the European Federation of Farm and Village Tourism, the International Association Rurality-Environment-Development (R.E.D.) and the Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation.

Together we believe it be imperative that a continuing rural development policy and budget are available to ensure a sustainable balance between food production and the effective stewardship of the cultural and natural landscape and that CAP policy should continue to evolve to ensure the delivery of adequate environmental, social and cultural benefits for public investment.

Presentations from the 2009 EAA session

Agri-Environmental Schemes in the United Kingdom
Forestry and Archaeology in Britain: A bumpy past and a challenging future - Peter Crow
Putting plough damage in the lab: the results of the English Heritage, Defra and Cranfield University cultivation and archaeology project - Vince Holyoak
Forests in Bavaria - an archive of human history - Grietje Suhr
Heritage Stewardship in Flanders - Carl Cordemans
Problems and perspectives of archaeological heritage preservation in agrarian landscapes in Germany - a survey of federal structures - M. Strobel, Th. Westphalen
Addressing Archaeological Concerns in Agricultural and Forestry Regulation and Support Systems In Ireland: An Overview of Current Practice and Possible Future Changes - Ammet Byrnes

Notes of the Round Table Meeting of the EAA/EAC Working Group on Farming, Forestry and Rural Land Management. EAA Annual Conference, Oslo 2011 (PDF)

Progress Report - March 2011 (PDF)
Progress Report - July 2010 (PDF)
Progress Report - March 2010 (PDF)

Recent Research and Links

Heritage Protection Reform Implementation - COSMIC Implementation Pilot Project
East Midlands Region, Stage 1 - Final Report

Trials to Identify Soil Cultivation. Practices to Minimise the Impact on Archaeological Sites (Defra project No: BD1705). Effects of Arable Cultivation on Archaeology (EH Project number 3874. Known collectively as: "Trials"

Appendix 1: Sub-soil pressures resulting from tillage implements and vehicle loads
Appendix 2: Buried Artefact Breakage Laboratory Trials
Appendix 3: Studying the effects of different cultivation systems on flat archaeological sites
Appendix 4: Studying the effects of different cultivation systems on archaeological earthworks
Appendix 5: Conclusions and Recommendations
Sid 5 - Summary of Results

At Arbury Banks Northamptonshire, ploughing has destroyed medieval ridge
and furrow earthworks overlying an Iron Age fortification and is eroding
the underlying site.

Romano-British mosaic at Stanwick in Northamptonshire, England under
excavation in 1989.  Arable cultivation has seriously damaged the