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ALGAO Events

See below for a list of ALGAO events over the coming 30 days.
Thu 19th Jul - 10.30am to 4.00pm
Wed 12th Sep (All day) to Sat 15th Sep (All day)
Wed 12th Sep - 10.30am
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Subject Committee: Countryside

The Countryside Committee has a facilitating role, servicing the needs of the members and committee of ALGAO in all matters concerning the historic environment and the countryside.

Sustainable development is an important objective in rural as well as urban settings. The Association promotes good practice in sustainable and integrated archaeological and countryside conservation management, including through improved sites and landscape management techniques. To this end the Committee encourages the adoption of good practice at all levels and seeks to promote integrated sites management works undertaken by members as exemplars of good practice. Such emphasis will be extended into the wider public arena to raise awareness and promote further the links between the historic environment and the landscape.

The Association also aims to ensure early and effective input into the development of government policy and advice to ensure that management of archaeological sites and historic landscapes is considered as an intrinsic component of wider countryside management. The Association works with other countryside conservation agencies to achieve this objective.

The next Countryside Committee meeting will be held in October 2018 (date to be decided) in Birmingham.

Following the current Committee Chair's decision to stand down, we are looking for volunteers to take on the role. Anyone interested in this rewarding and important post (possibly as a job share), should contact the current Chair. Being Chair of the committee involves taking part in DEFRA/Natural England Agri-Environment Stakeholder Group meetings (held in Birmingham) and conference calls, SHINE enhancement project meetings and conference calls, approving new ALGAO user accounts on the SHINE website, updating the committee webpage, responding to government and other countryside-related consultations on behalf of ALGAO, representing the committee at meetings as and when necessary, liaising with ALGAO’s National Chairs, and responding to ALGAO members queries on countryside matters. All this amounts to around 20 days’ work a year, with funding from ALGAO.

News 8 May 2018 ALGAO submits its response to DEFRA's Health and Harmony: future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit consultation ALGAO response to DEFRA 'Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment' consultation May 2018

News 27 February 2018 Government consultation on the future of farming launched: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-future-for-food-farming-.... Key elements include the simplification of Countryside Stewardship, the introduction of a new land management scheme after the EU exit, a desire to protect the historic environment (page 8), and the spending of public money on public goods (which include the historic environment; pages 6, 12 and 33).

News 11 January 2018 The Government announces its twenty-five year vision for the environment: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/governments-vision-for-a-greener-futu.... Key sections for the historic environment include support for initiatives to protect and improve cultural heritage (page 16), the desire to enhance heritage (paqe 28), the inclusion of rural heritage in the vision for a new environmental land management scheme (pages 36-37), the ambition to plant 11 million trees (page 47), and a review of designations (pages 65-66).

Agri-environment in England

A number of websites are available to assist members and others involved in agri-environment schemes. These include:

Countryside Stewardship 2018 timetable: English ALGAO members should expect to start receiving HEFER requests from 17 January, with the last requests arriving in mid June (two weeks after the Countryside Stewardship application pack request window closes) and the last HEFER deadlines falling in mid July (20 working days after the last request).

Natural England is expecting between 5,000 and 10,000 applications nationally. Of these, there could be approximately 600 Higher Tier applications, with the others for ‘full’ Mid Tier or the newly introduced Mid Tier ‘offers’. Natural England has agreed it would be fair to assume 50% or more Mid Tier applications could be for the new offers.

This year the full range of Countryside Stewardship schemes are named in the 'Tier' part of HEFER consultation requests and on the SHINE website. Tiers named for the first time are 'Water Capital Grant' and 'Woodland Only Higher Tier' (previously they were called 'Mid' or 'Higher'). ALGAO members should treat 'Water Capital Grant' consultations as Mid Tier consultations and check paragraphs 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 of the Mid Tier manual for a list of the capital works covered. When working on a 'Woodland Only Higher Tier' consultation ALGAO members should assess the whole holding, not just the areas of woodland.

News 4 June 2018 31 May was the last day prospective Countryside Stewardship applicants could request a Mid Tier application pack. Over the next two weeks Natural England staff will submit the last 2018 HEFER requests, meaning English ALGAO members should expect to receive high numbers of consultations requests until 18 June.

News 23 April 2018 Natural England starts a review of Countryside Stewardship HEFERs, with ALGAO a project partner.

News 16 January 2018 The enhanced and updated SHINE website is now live and Natural England will start to submit HEFER requests shortly. The updated SHINE Service Standard will be available very soon. Updated SHINE workflow guidance is available in the download section of the SHINE website.

News 4 January 2018 Michael Gove announces a new approach to rural subsidies: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/farming-for-the-next-generation

News 14 December 2017 The 2018 Countryside Stewardship application window is due to open on 15 January 2018. Natural England has confirmed applications for the new Mid Tier offers will not require a HEFER, but will require a FER. ALGAO members are encouraged to check and update their contact details on the SHINE website ahead of the window opening (including, if necessary, requesting via the SHINE contact section the deletion of staff who have left their employment).

News 28 November 2017 Michael Gove announces new streamlined Countryside Mid Tier offers for 2018: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-secretary-streamlines-sup... and (for full details) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/countryside-stewardship-detail-of-new....

News 28 November 2017 - Exegesis has produced a spreadsheet outlining how much Natural England is expecting to pay each ALGAO member for producing HEFERs in 2017, which Historic England has forwarded on to Natural England. Natural England is currently working on producing purchase orders and should start issuing them in the next few weeks.

Best practice guidance

A number of websites provide further guidance on the rural historic environment. These include:

ALGAO general enquiries
01223 728592
admin [at] algao.org.uk

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