I received the following letter from the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport
RANSON GERRY <GERRY.RANSON@Culture.gsi.gov.uk>
Sent : Tuesday, August 7, 2007 4:09 PM
To : <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject : CMS 75510 Rotherwas Ribbon
Dear Mr Kaulins,
Thank you for your email of 9 July about the preservation of the 'Rotherwas Ribbon' site. I have been asked to reply.
Under current legislation, adding a site to the Schedule of Monuments is the only legal protection specifically for archaeological sites, although there are alternatives to scheduling such as using the system of local authority control over planning applications to ensure that any development proposals take archaeology fully into account. Scheduling is applied only to sites of national importance, and even then only if it is the best means of protection. Decisions on national importance are guided by criteria laid down by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and cover the basic characteristics of monuments. These are:
- extent of survival
- current condition
- representivity, either through diversity or because of one important attribute
- importance of the period to which the monument dates
- connection to other monuments, or group value
- potential to contribute to our information, understanding and appreciation
- extent of documentation enhancing the monument's significance
As expert advisors to the DCMS, English Heritage takes the lead in identifying sites in England which should be placed on the schedule by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. DCMS has asked English Heritage to consider and advise the Secretary of State about whether the site of the 'Rotherwas Ribbon' should be placed on the schedule. English Heritage Inspectors visited the site on the afternoon of 9 July. A decision on scheduling will be taken in due course and will be informed by further analysis and interpretation of the site.
In the meantime, the remains are very fragile, and while English Heritage agrees with Herefordshire Council that controlled public access should be afforded, they will ensure the local authority covers the remains to protect them from bad weather. In the long term, English Heritage considers that this is a significant find worthy of being fully recorded for future research and protected in-situ. Each part of the find is very fragile and by keeping the remains in their context they can help us understand how people used to live in this landscape setting. English Heritage will make sure the local authority has access to its expertise in this process.
Central Information & Briefing Unit
Department of Culture, Media & Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
0207 211 6179
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