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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 February, 2005, 21:54 GMT
Burial mound preserved for future
A burial ground on a Wiltshire farm has been protected from plough damage by an agreement between the farmer and Defra.

Bourton Manor Farm, north west of Devizes has 28 Scheduled Monuments of national importance.

These include 10 barrows which are thought to be either Neolithic or early Bronze Age.

Plough damage is being prevented by returning the surrounding area to grassland using funding under Defra's Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

National importance

"As a keen conservationist I feel that it is of vital importance to preserve this heritage for future generations," said farmer Bob Frearson.

A further group of three barrows on the farm will be protected by buffering them with grass strips.

"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," said Charles Routh, an adviser at Defra's Rural Development Service in the South West.

Wansdyke, another Scheduled Monument of national importance, runs through the centre of the farm.

Scrub is being cleared from it to prevent root damage to the underlying archaeology and to increase the diversity of wild flowers thriving there.

Elsewhere on the farm, 36 hectares of ancient chalk downland is being managed using changed grazing patterns and without fertiliser to encourage wild flowers.

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