Thanks to the work of the Lake District Archaeology Volunteers Network, 24 historic sites across the Lake District have today been removed from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
Published today (20 Oct 2015), the Risk Register provides an indicator for the health of the historic environment, including domestic buildings, protected wrecks and archaeological ruins. Removal from the register is a significant achievement and represents the strength of feeling that local people have for protecting the Lake District’s cultural heritage.
Lake District Archaeology Volunteers Network is a partnership between the Lake District National Park, the National Trust, the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society (CWAAS) and Historic England. More than 60 hard-working volunteers have worked tirelessly over the last few years to remove unmanaged bracken, which is the main threat to archaeology in the park. The plant has a destructive underground network of roots that can damage important remains.
Archaeology and Heritage Assistant for the Lake District National Park, Holly Beavitt-Pike, said: “This is fantastic news for the Lake District and a testament to our volunteers. Not only does it demonstrate the cultural heritage of this special landscape but it also shows how, through hard work, we can protect the historic environment.”
The Lake District Archaeology Volunteers Network was set up in 2012 and is dedicated to the conservation of the historic environment of the Lake District National Park. The purpose of the network is to train volunteers to undertake archaeological surveys and conservation work to help manage and conserve the historic environment of the Lake District National Park. We have 63 committed volunteers and seven volunteer supervisors who have the opportunity to get involved in actively recording, understanding and conserving their local heritage.
In July, we were recommended by the Historic England’s Heritage at Risk North West team to put in a nomination to the Heritage Angel Awards for the work that the Lake District Archaeology Volunteers Network undertake to reduce Heritage at Risk. The Historic England Angel Awards were founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber to reward the efforts of local people in saving their heritage, and the Lake District Archaeology Volunteers Network is a great example of this work. Although we weren’t successful the work was highly commended by Historic England.