Moorland to become ancient monument

16 Aug 2010

570 hectares of beautiful moorland right next to Cheviot Holiday Cottages in the Northumberland National Park will be scheduled as an ancient monument under a new national pilot Heritage Partnership Agreement between the Northumberland National Park, Natural England, English Heritage and the tenant farmers.

This rich and complex archaeological landscape, which is a paradise for walkers and cyclists, contains a very high number of nationally important scheduled ancient monuments and provides a fascinating insight into how our ancient ancestors lived and farmed. It will be the largest piece of scheduled land in England!
The Wilson farming family is an exemplary steward of the rich archaeological landscape at Ingram and have been working with local archaeologists and Northumberland National Park on a programme of excavation and research for years.

It is hoped that this new agreement will help them continue to manage the nationally important archaeological remains in a more efficient and less bureaucratic way.

This new kind of agreement creates a clear list of works that can be carried out on the scheduled monument and enables farmers to do repairs to fencing, stone walls and hedges, footpaths and tracks and to control burrowing animals which could damage archaeological remains.

Holiday visitors staying at Cheviot Holiday Cottages can take footpaths and bridleways directly from the doorstep and in minutes are transported back in time to the Iron Age as they visit the numerous hill forts and ancient Iron Age settlements that abound in the surrounding countryside. A decade of archaeological discovery in the valley has unearthed this amazing insight into our past and the hills around Ingram.

Planning trips couldn’t be simpler – the National Park Visitor Centre is situated only a minute’s walk away and offers visitors year-round, ranger-led guided walks and activities.

In recent years, English Heritage, alongside the government, has worked towards a radical shift in the way heritage management operates. The series of pilot agreements is part of Heritage Protection Reform, providing a national template set to change the way heritage is managed, working together with partners in a comprehensive, proactive and collaborative way.

In practice this means the tenant farmers have agreed works in advance with English Heritage and with consultation from Natural England and Northumberland National Park Authority reducing bureaucracy and ensuring a more flexible system of management. The Ingram agreement will be watched closely by the heritage and agricultural sectors alike.

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority said:

“Ingram Farm occupies a beautiful part of the Northumberland National Park. It has a rich historic environment which adds to its value as an important national asset. This pilot Heritage Protection Agreement allows the shared vision for the future of this area to be taken forward in a consistent way.”

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