General Guidelines for Maintenance of Traditional Boundaries
Stock proof or near stock proof boundaries should be maintained. Given the financial implications of this kind of work it is essential that a viable scheme for the prioritisation of such works should be developed. DEFRA Stewardship criteria for prioritisation as set out elswhere in this report will be adopted.
Walls which are upstanding but with gaps should be considered for renewal where they are c. 80% or more complete, and where the bulk of the fallen stone is present. Walls which are less than c.80% complete will tend to have a lower priority, because of the significant amount of investment needed for repair. However in situations like this full consideration must be given to the potential landscape value of such features. This may well be a determining factor in deciding whether some seemingly agriculturally redundant boundaries should be maintained.
Priority should be given to the maintenance of existing hedges and to the relaying of old hedges or the planting of new ones where this would be conducive to the retention and enhancement of landscape character and to the provision of links with other semi-natural features such as woodland plantations.
Wherever possible, native tree and shrub species local to the region should be used in planting schemes. A mix of species is desirable and stock of local provenance should be used where available.
Walls and other traditional boundaries should be repaired using appropriate traditional techniques.
Repair and/or rebuilding should be in keeping with the structure and form of the original or immediately adjoining lengths, so as to maintain the overall effect and typology of the boundary.
The presence of any wall furniture (both open and closed, in use or redundant) should be noted and respected especially stone step stiles and stone squeezes.
Boundary maintenance should retain historic patterns of enclosure (e.g. primary boundaries).
Repair and/or rebuilding should take note of and respect any underlying or associated archaeological sites or structures.
New fencing should not replace walls, or sections of walls, which can otherwise be rebuilt or reinforced with suitable stone in line with criteria set out above. Any new fencing should be set slightly away from existing wall lines, to prevent damage to historic alignments and footing.
Stone should not be robbed from heavily collapsed or redundant walls where they contribute to the general patterning of enclosure development, and provide physical evidence for that enclosure.
Lower courses of significantly collapsed or redundant walls should be retained, to maintain the historic alignment.
Fallen stoups should be re-erected or reset (where practical), in original position or in widened gateways.
Wherever practical, records should be kept of boundary repair and maintenance.
The National Park Authority will institute a rolling programme of boundary monitoring to ensure the availability of up to date information on boundary condition as part of its ‘State of the Park’ monitoring procedure.