R-07/02 Agriculture and cultural heritage

Cultural heritage is part of the multifunctions of agriculture. This report aims at throwing light on the connections between active agriculture and cultural heritage by synthetising existing research based knowledge on the various aspects of this connection. The agricultural landscape has undergone large changes during the last 50 years, and the polarisation processes of intensification and extensification affect cultural heritage. Studies show that ’modern’ agricultural landscapes are rated more negative by the public than what is perceived as traditional or ’old fashioned’ landscapes. To some extent farmers’ view differ from this, having their self identity and legitimacy linked to food production. There are also regional differences both regarding the state of the agricultural landscape and cultural heritage, and regarding attitudes towards preservation and use. In general, the need for a functional system approach is vital to the upkeep of cultural heritage connected to agriculture both in terms of rural viability and social processes in agricultural communities, to secure knowledge on resource use and management in a sustainability perspective, and regarding questions of authenticity.

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