Kent Archaeological Review extract

Protecting Archaeological Sites on Forestry Commission Land.
by The Forestry Commission.

The greatest problem for archaeologists and foresters is the identification of 'unknown' sites on land scheduled for planting or felling and re-planting. Discussions between the Forestry Commission and the major archaeological organisations resulted in agreement on the need to survey all land within these categories. The Commission has now drawn up standard operating procedures which have been agreed with the DOE Inspectorates of Ancient Monuments, the Royal Commissions on Ancient and Historical Monuments and the National Museums of England, Scotland and Wales.

The Forestry Commission's 6-inch maps, showing its five year planting programme of bare ground will be the basis of the survey. In England and Wales the 6-inch maps showing five year felling programmes will also be submitted. In Scotland where most of the new planting takes place the survey will concentrate on bare ground scheduled for planting. The position regarding felling programmes will be reviewed in Scotland in 12 months.

These maps are now to be forwarded annually to the DOE Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments who will then arrange to survey the land or delegate the work to another bona fide archaeological body, normally the Royal Commissions on Ancient and Historical Monuments. The surveys will identify all sites of archaeological importance justifying preservation and these will be shown to the FCDistrict Officer or Forester on the ground and permanently marked and recorded on the maps. As resources permit, the DOE Inspectorate will inspect the sites with a view to 'scheduling' under the Ancient Monuments Act.

All sites will be periodically inspected to ensure that they are not becoming overgrown by scrub or disturbed by tree growth.

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