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A Bill To Make History – Legislation To Protect Wales’ Past To Become Law

Summary of the Bill’s provisions

To give more effective protection to listed buildings and scheduled monuments

Extension of the definition of a scheduled monument
The Welsh Ministers will be able to recognise and protect any nationally important sites that provide evidence of past human activity.

Amendments to the criminal offences and defences for damage to scheduled monuments
The Bill will make it easier to bring cases of unlawful damage or destruction of scheduled monuments to prosecution by limiting the defence of ignorance of a monument’s status or location. The accused will have to be able to show that all reasonable steps had been taken to find out if a scheduled monument would be harmed or destroyed by their actions.

Powers of entry for the archaeological investigation of ancient monuments in danger of damage or destruction
If an ancient monument is at immediate risk of damage or destruction, the Welsh Ministers will be able to authorise archaeological excavations without the owner’s consent. This new power, which will help to rescue valuable information about Welsh history, will only be used in exceptional cases.

Introduction of enforcement and temporary stop notices for scheduled monuments
Temporary stop notices will give the Welsh Ministers powers to put an immediate halt to unauthorised works or other damage to scheduled monuments. They will be able to use complementary enforcement notices to order repairs to monuments or the fulfilment of scheduled monument consent conditions without going to court.
moss Posted by moss
10th February 2016ce

Comments (5)

Good news, but hope accompanied by a level of fine that would deter, and that there would be a higher sanction for a repeat offence. I wonder if sacred springs are covered. spencer Posted by spencer
11th February 2016ce
Think they only had one prosecution last year, so hopefully there will be more heavy stuff by the police to bring things to court. Not sure about sacred springs, are you worried about the stuff people dress the cloutie trees with? There is one near us, the Old Wifes Well, and though it is disputed on TMA, there is a lot of evidence for prehistory in the area.
moss Posted by moss
11th February 2016ce
Excellent blog extract, Moss. I need to put some effort into revisiting that area Posted by tomatoman
12th February 2016ce
Not particularily bothered about clouties etc. Doesn't count as damage, but sometimes wish it'd be possible to photograph something happens tracked down one just such near me on Wednesday, absolutely bloody lovely, idyllic setting. Fieldwalking directly above it in bracken the following day revealed a farming settlement. Pix etc soon after another visit to recheck and a further poke around.. hope sufficient not to have it consigned to the 'disputed' outer darkness. Yes, would like to see more springs and wells on here. The reason for many ancient settlements existence, I'm sure, and I think it is wrong to ignore them. Water: a life essential then as now, even if the spiritual element is disregarded. If there's now lidar for the area round yours - or others - (Juamei?) perhaps it may strengthen its/their case. As an aside, would like to see holloways/ancient trackways on TMA too. 'Recreational' damage to these is far more of an irritation to me than a dangling cloutie or whatever round a spring. spencer Posted by spencer
13th February 2016ce
@ Tomatoman. 'Smell of Water' is an excellent blog..

@ Spencer, Think wells have been mooted before, but I suspect it opens it out to too many 'disputed' wells, some old wells have a lovely patina of moss and algae though on their stones, especially in Cornwall. As for ancient trackways that too must be difficult. Many of the 'long lines' of barrows must have also followed on prehistoric trackways, but some of the holloways may only trace back to medieval times. Their use though by off-roaders needs to be highlighted, it is a destructive practice.
moss Posted by moss
13th February 2016ce
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