Cairn at Caolas Rogart

Rural management and cross compliance

Rural Management Measures for the Historic Environment

The Scottish Government offer a number of funding streams through the Scottish Rural Development Programme that can be accessed by both individual land managers and by communities.

Scottish Rural Development Programme

The current SRDP  will operate until 2020.  Though final approval is awaited from the European Commission the broad outlines can be viewed on the Scottish Government Rural Payments section. The main funding streams affecting the historic environment are listed below.

Entrants are required to have a Business Reference Number before applying.

Agri-Environment Climate Scheme

Protection of the historic environment is one of 7 priorities under this scheme. Archaeological and historic sites should ideally be identified as part of the Farm Environmental Assessment, required as a standard requirement for most applications under this scheme. This includes a Farm Environment Map and a Farm Environmental Table to note environmental features on your land. There is Scottish Government funding to assist in the production of these environmental assessments.

The scheme is only open for applications until the 12th June 2015 to allow the processing and award of contracts by the end of this year.  It is primarily directed at continuing existing longterm habitat and species management.

Only Scheduled Monuments are eligible for selection as management as historic environment features  and these are secondary to biodiversity, water quality and climate options selected for management.  Historic Scotland have produced guidance Heritage Management : SRDP Management of Scheduled Monuments: Annual recurrent options and capital items identifying options which are either beneficial or detrimental to caring for Scheduled Monuments. Historic Scotland have also identified those  Scheduled Monuments were management could be most beneficial.  Other archaeolgical sites & historic buildings can only be considered as incidental to other agri-environment climate management measures.

Environmental Co-operation Action Fund

Under the SRDP the Scottish government are encouraging collaborative actions at a landscape-scale across different ownerships. Archaeology Scotland are keen that this should be used to facilitatee thematic actions at a scale suitable for historic landscapes.


Details on the 2014-2020 LEADER programme are not yet available. Information on the 20 proposed Local Action Group areas and the potential funding available can be accessed here.

Forestry funding

Though now forming part of the SRDP,  forestry grants continue to be managed by Forestry Commission Scotland for new planting and re-stocking or for management of existing woodlands.  This includes measures to protect archaeological & historic sites, particularly where this may improve public access. These include  the Woodland Improvement Grants such as Woodlands In and Around Towns (WIAT) which seeks to improve the woodland environment and the quality of life for inhabitants in and around woodland in both urban and peri-urban areas.  This option is available to managers of woodlands that do not form part of the national forest estate (managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland).  This can include woodlands owned by local councils.

Cross compliance for archaeology and the historic environment

All land-based financial support in Scotland is conditional on land managers and other recipients following agreed environmental protection and best practice. This includes actions to protect the historic environment, as it is a key aspect of the Scottish Government’s historic environment policy SHEP and the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland that the historic environment is cared for, protected and enhanced for the benefit of our own and future generations.

Archaeology Scotland has produced a series of advice notes to inform land managers and others on these issues.

Farming cross compliance

As part of the grant conditions for the Basic Farm Payment land managers must agree to follow Good Agricultural and Environment Conditions – GAEC.  These include  under GAEC 7: Retention of Landscape Features the protection of nationally important sites including Scheduled Monuments. In addition land managers who adopt Agri-Environment Climate Measures must draw up a Farm Environment Assessment which should include mapping of archaeological/historic sites on a Farm Environment Map.

Forestry cross compliance

Forestry has more robust standards known as the UK Forestry Standard that specify actions to care for the historic environment and the Forestry Commision Scotland also encourages woodland owners to sign up to the UKWAS (UK Woodland Assurance Scheme).  All Forestry  creation and management grants now require forestry owners to have a management plan identifying the historic environment assets on their land and the actions necessary to care for them. There is extensive guidance on the FCS website on Scotland’s Woodland and the historic environment.

Community access to  rural funding

Under the SRDP  there are  options for communities to access funding to protect and enhance various rural assets, including rural heritage, primarily through the LEADER programme.