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The Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) was introduced in April 2002, initially as a two year pilot scheme, to provide funds to tackle a wide range of problems in areas affected by aggregates extraction. For the purposes of the levy aggregate is defined as: "rock, gravel or sand, together with whatever substances are incorporated in the rock, gravel or sand or naturally occur mixed with it."
English Heritage, along with English Nature and the Countryside Agency, is a major distributor of the fund on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The core objective of the English Heritage ALSF Programme is to reduce the impact on the historic environment of aggregate extraction, both terrestrial and marine. It will focus on the following main areas:
The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) is currently undertaking an English Heritage backed project to disseminate Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund information on the web. The aim of the project is to disseminate and secure for the long term a key set of research and management documents and datasets produced for English Heritage by a wide range of ALSF funded projects.
The overall aim of the ADS is to collect, describe, catalogue, preserve, and provide user support for digital resources that are created as a product of archaeological research.
There are a number of professional and academic reasons why it is considered worthwhile to attempt to secure these existing digital resources. The following are amongst the most important: