Isles of Scilly - AONB

Pushing the Boundaries

Traditional field boundaries are a characteristic feature of Scilly’s farmed landscape and historically are an important asset to the Islands.

This AONB championed project, which gained funding from the Isles of Scilly Local Action Group (LAG), aims to unlock the economic, cultural and educational potential of Scilly’s traditional stone walls and to understand how they can be maintained, and where possible, restored in ways that:

– Facilitate the recovery of derelict farmland and the better management of active farmland;

– Realise the capacity of traditional stone walls to support the reintroduction of grazing stock, as supported by the ‘special Scilly options’ for Environmental Stewardship introduced by Natural England in 2009;

– Conserve and enhance the historic and biodiversity value of the traditional stone walls that are iconic features of the Scillonian landscape;

-Minimise the need for modern stock-proof enclosures that do not enhance the AONB or Conservation Area;

-Enhance residents’ and visitors’ appreciation of the historic, environmental and economic importance of Scilly’s traditional stone walls;

– Support tourism by generating new insights into the historic and habitat value of stone walls, through interpretative media, exhibitions and printed materials.

– Scope the value of training in traditional dry-stone walling techniques.

Project Results

Surveys to assess the ecological and historical value of Scilly’s stone walls have been undertaken on Bryher, St Agnes, St Martin’s, St Mary’s and Tresco. The historic survey also assessed the condition of walls and the availability of stone which is essential in any future wall restoration project. Please follow these links for the main results of the biodiversity survey and historic environment/condition survey. The full survey results are also available (Biodiversity and Historic Environment/Condition)

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