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National prize for protecting Heritage at Risk

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 8 July 2008

8 July 2008

National Award for Protecting Heritage at Risk

The Peak District National Park Authority has been selected to receive English Heritage’s first Heritage at Risk prize for work to protect historic monuments and buildings.

Heritage At Risk is the first phase of a comprehensive survey by English Heritage of the threatened parts of England’s cities, towns and countryside. The first annual report (launched Tuesday 8 July) assesses just how much of our heritage is at risk, where it is, what is threatening it and what can be done to save it. It reveals that one in 12 heritage sites is at high risk of neglect, decay or inappropriate change.

The Peak District National Park Authority has beat off competition from more than 400 local authorities and national park authorities in England to get the prize. It will be presented at a ceremony in London tomorrow (Wednesday 9 July).

It recognises the conservation management that has taken place in the Peak District National Park - which has seen the number of scheduled monuments at risk fall from 17 in 2001 to two in 2008.

Pauline Beswick, member and historic environment champion for the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “This award is a real honour. It is the result of teamwork by staff and members in the authority, working with local communities, landowners and managers, owners of buildings and our partner organisations, including English Heritage, Natural England and the National Trust.

“By working together we have been able to achieve things that individually were beyond our reach and make a lasting contribution to the cultural heritage of the area and the nation as a whole.”

Among the achievements that led to the Peak District National Park Authority getting the award include:

  • Eastern Moors estate, near Sheffield – this was bought to protect important Bronze Age archaeological remains. The authority has improved the management and condition of these remains which has led to more of the area being protected as a nationally-important scheduled monument.
  • Devolved Management Scheme - the authority negotiated agreements with the owners of monuments at risk, to bring them into good condition using grants from English Heritage.
  • Roystone Grange at Ballidon - bought by the authority in the early 1990s to protect an area containing Romano-British and medieval archaeology. The rest of the farm was sold with covenants to safeguard archaeological, landscape and ecological interests.
  • Pilsbury Castle – bought in 1999 to enable public access to, and improved management of the scheduled monument. A  Heritage Lottery Funded project, led by the authority’s rangers, has seen the castle used to engage with local people and schools about the history of the area.
  • Lead Rakes Project – a partnership project, led by the authority, to identify, record and manage the important surface lead mine remains across the Peak District ore field which are in danger of destruction from mineral processing and agricultural improvement.  
  • Calver Weir – a partnership project involving a community group, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Peak District National Park Authority to repair and restore a grade two listed weir, tell people about its importance and the biodiversity and the landscape around the weir.

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: “With nearly 3,000 listed buildings, more than 450 scheduled monuments, 109 conservation areas and internationally recognised attractions such as Chatsworth, Haddon Hall and Lyme Park there is a great deal within the national park that needs caring for, many voices that need to be listened to, and many competing interests that need to be reconciled.

“The Peak District National Park Authority has undertaken outstanding work with its strategic and often innovative approach to managing the historic sites and landscapes within its boundary. We believe the authority should be especially commended for its highly effective partnership working.”

This is an archived press release

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