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ALGAO Events

See below for a list of ALGAO events over the coming 30 days.
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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.

News 21 July 2018 ALGAO is currently seeking members views on a proposal to reform the Countryside Committee. The proposal suggests a Committee of regional representatives (one from each ALGAO region), the Committee Secretary and possibly representatives of key partners. The regional representatives would be tasked with gathering together views from their region, then bringing these to Committee meetings. The Committee of representatives would meet a few times a year (2-3 times, face to face and/or via teleconference) or as and when issues/consultations require it. Alongside this, once a year the wider countryside group could come together for a CPD event. Within this model the Chair role would rotate and be shared between regional representatives, rather than sit with one person. Current members of the Committee should send their answers to the seven questions asked by email to the current Chair by Monday 6 August 2018.

News May 2018 CLA announces its vision for the future of agri-environment: and

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: 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: 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 started receiving HEFER requests in 17 January, with the last requests arriving in mid June (two weeks after the Countryside Stewardship application pack request window closes). The last HEFER deadlines now fall at the end of July.

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 June 2018 ALGAO has agreed an exceptional (outside of the SHINE website) process for dealing for a handful of Countryside Stewardship applications where the HEFER request deadline was missed. Exceptional consultations are likely to be issued by email and ALGAO members can respond to them in a way they think best (perhaps following the SHINE/HEFER guidance documents, creating and amending SHINE records, uploading SHINE datasets to the website, and providing pdf maps of SHINE records to the consultee by email).

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 May 2018 Natural England publishes 2016-17 annual report on agri-environment scheme monitoring and evaluation:

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:

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: and (for full details)

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:

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