Your chance to influence the future of the past

This is an archived press release

Monday 17 October 2005

17 October 2005

Your chance to influence the future of the past

Do you have ideas on how best to conserve the Peak District's heritage for future generations? The Peak District National Park Authority is asking for your views.

The Authority would like comments on a new draft Cultural Heritage Strategy which will guide the way unique Peak District features - from prehistoric stone circles to classic houses and age-old customs - are looked after over the next five years.

From October 17 to November 4, the public can have their say on the first-ever draft strategy, which is expected to come into effect by the end of the year.

The area's legacies, which attract thousands of visitors, include:
* stone circles such as Arbor Low and Nine Ladies, historic houses such as Chatsworth and Haddon Hall
* pagan-derived customs - well dressings or Castleton Garland Day, legends of ghostly Romans or doomed lovers, and rural crafts in wood and stone
* villages full of history and a landscape shaped by centuries of farming, lead mining and quarrying.

This heritage gives the Peak District its character and contributes to the rural economy - but it needs joint action to ensure protection against erosion, pollution, lack of understanding or waning of traditional customs and memories.

The National Park Authority is co-ordinating this action, but local communities and partner organisations need to be involved to ensure success. The National Park's archaeologists and conservationists have already consulted a wide range of local interest groups and are now asking for input from the general public.

Cultural Heritage manager Ken Smith explained: "We are custodians of our heritage, and we have a responsibility to hand it on to future generations in at least as good a condition as we inherited it. Some aspects of our heritage are flourishing, such as well dressings - which are spreading beyond the traditional areas - but some need our support to ensure their future. We'd like the public's help, not only in drawing up the strategy but in putting it into action."

Archaeologist Pauline Beswick, the Authority's lead member for cultural heritage, said, "Cultural heritage contributes significantly to the Park's unique and special qualities. It concerns issues which impact on residents' daily lives, which influence the appearance of landscape and settlements and the information and activities available for visitors. I would urge anyone interested in our heritage to send their views on the draft strategy by November 4."

The draft Cultural Heritage Strategy is available on the website or from the National Park HQ at Aldern House, Baslow Road, Bakewell, DE45 1AE, tel: 01629 816361, or e-mail:

The Cultural Heritage team would particularly like to know:
* how important you think cultural heritage is for the National Park?
* are there any aspects that have been overlooked in the draft document?
* what role can the public play in helping conserve our heritage?
* what role should the National Park Authority play?
* what role should other organisations play?

Among the 85 interest groups already consulted are English Heritage, English Nature, landowners, universities, local archaeological and historical groups, regional cultural organisations, community groups, government departments and museums.

This is an archived press release

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