Peter Gaskell is undertaking this work for Historic England, together with Jeremy Lake and Chantal Freeman, over 10 months in 2018.

Historic farmsteads make a fundamental contribution to landscape character, local distinctiveness and a sense of place. They are also assets which, through agricultural or new uses, can make an important contribution to the rural economy and communities. Historic England has led national research on this subject and has produced guidance on the conversion and maintenance of farm buildings. However, further work is still needed to develop the evidence base, in the form of Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements. The aims of this project are to complete and publish a baseline statement for England’s National Character Areas. The Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements will inform decision-making by all those involved in the conservation, reuse and development of historic farmsteads and farm buildings. The Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements will provide, for the first time, an interpretation of the farmsteads and farmed landscapes of England to inform research agendas.

Aims

The aims of this project are to complete and publish a baseline statement for each National Character Area (NCA), with the main focus on editing descriptions and assembling images for the remaining areas.

The Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements will:

1. Inform decision-making by all those involved in the conservation, reuse and development of historic farmsteads and farm buildings, specifically:

1.1 levels of protection, including recording, that is appropriate to the significance of designated and undesignated heritage assets;

1.2 the sustainable development of historic farm buildings, including their distribution, character, significance and any impact of development;

1.3 the development and application of tools and methodologies for consistency in development control, and for use by those considering change (owners, agents, architects etc.);

1.4 the targeting of resources;

1.5 to provide a solid foundation on which further more detailed studies of historic farmsteads and landscape can be built.

2. Provide for the first time an interpretation of the farmsteads and farmed landscapes of England, to inform research agendas and which will be amended as knowledge develops.

Objectives

To achieve these aims the project has two objectives:

1. Setting out understanding of historic character, significance and pressures for change affecting traditional farmsteads and their buildings with the framework of England’s NCAs.

2. Provide sources and links to a glossary of terms and national guidance.