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One of the tumuli on Garrowby Hill. Image credit: Paul Alison

Sounds good!
“Two ancient mounds which may contain the remains of farmers who worked the land 4,000 years ago have been saved for posterity. The Bronze Age burial mounds just off the A166, close to the summit of Garrowby Hill, were considered at high risk but they have been protected from the plough after tenant farmer Geoff Wray applied to Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. Historic environment field advisor Yvonne Luke said: “We are very grateful.”

As are we all. Although, reading it more slowly… if they are Bronze Age burial mounds they’d be scheduled and ploughing them would be illegal wouldn’t it? So although we are sure the payment per hectare per year that Farmer Wray is receiving is being well-targeted, probably towards stewardship of his remaining land, it would be best if the impression wasn’t given to the public that he was being paid to refrain from ploughing scheduled monuments. There’s quite enough of that going on as it is, year by year, incrementally –

“Three-quarters of ancient scheduled monuments in the East Riding considered at risk are slowly being damaged by ploughing.”

Maybe a database of precise photographs of barrows, reviewed and compared every year, would be beneficial (or does it exist already?) Or simply a clearer explanation and a request to the public to be vigilant, rather than muddling them up with stories that farmers are being paid to “save” them, which they aren’t. Many – actually, MOST of them – appear to be being ploughed away, bit by bit. Each instance of damage, after all, is a crime, albeit so incremental it is considered hardly worth bothering – until of course a decade has passed and the mound has gone, as have 90% of them in many places!

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