History buffs benefit heritage

Published on: 10 Nov 2014

As the spotlight was thrown on a rich historic Lake District legacy tributes were paid to volunteers who are increasingly involved in preserving the heritage.

Archaeology in the Lake District's 2014 conference in Keswick saw how projects across the national park were boosted by a growing brand of dedicated enthusiasts.

Around 200 delegates from across the region gathered to share the successes of a raft of work, including Reflections on History, one of nineteen Windermere Reflections projects. It saw 114 volunteers surveying and excavating woodland areas, mill sites, quarries, mining and iron smelting operations.

Romans in Ravenglass was also showcased, demonstrating how a whole community can come together to explore a nationally important settlement and period in history.

Lake District National Park's archaeology and heritage adviser, Eleanor Kingston, said from school children to local organisations and people living in the national park, project helpers had left invaluable information for future generations.

"It was wonderful to share these achievements. We now have a regular volunteer force of 68 with six supervisors. Last year, they contributed 143 days to conservation work, which, valued at Heritage Lottery Fund rates, equates to almost £21,500.

"So far this year, there have been 294 days, worth over £44,000. That's an enormous contribution and their efforts are hugely valued."

The national park has 281 scheduled monuments, nine registered parks and gardens of historic interest, 15,504 sites in the Historic Environment Record and Ravenglass Roman fort is part of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site.

Eleanor explained the growing interest in archaeology had seen great benefits across the Lake District and asked for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to contact her.

She said: "The conference was a real celebration of achievements and opportunities and volunteers are crucial to keeping up these levels of momentum."

Her contact details are archvol@lakedistrict.gov.uk or 01539 792712.

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