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3 February 2005
Scheduled monuments saved from the plough

Farmland containing 28 Scheduled Monuments of national importance is to be protected following a government grant.
    Bourton Manor Farm, north-west of Devizes, Wiltshire, in south-west England, is home to the monuments, which include a burial ground of 10 Neolithic or Early Bronze Age barrows. The Wansdyke, a long ditch and bank linear defensive earthwork, which has been dated to between 400 and 700 CE, also runs through the farm.
    The Department for Environment  Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have used funding under their Countryside Stewardship Scheme to ensure that the surrounding area is returned to grassland to prevent plough damage. Farmer Bob Frearson said "As a keen conservationist I feel that it is of vital importance to preserve this heritage for future generations."
    Charles Routh, an adviser at Defra's Rural Development Service in the South West, said "Managing this part of Wiltshire's heritage is important and Bourton Manor Farm has many other historical associations such as the site of a Bronze Age farming settlement, an incredible find of 7,000 Roman coins and signs of medieval farming with the unmistakable strip lynchets on Roughridge Hill."

Source: BBC (2 February 2005)

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