Specialising in historic characterisation, heritage management, planning,

protected landscapes, assessing heritage assets and funding bids.

Our innovative consultancy offers particular expertise

in the creation and interpretation of historic characterisations and

associated management plans


Friday, 27 July 2012

EH writes to chief planning officers regarding the Historic Environment and Neighbourhood Planning

The letter sets out the support English Heritage is able to offer in relation to Neighbourhood Plans. English Heritage has a statutory role in the development plan process and there is a duty to consult them on any Neighbourhood Plan where their interests are considered to be affected as well as a duty to consult them on all Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Natural England publishes five full National Character Area Profiles

Five full profiles have been published today to demonstrate how the Natural England programme to update the National Character Area descriptions will develop over coming months. The five featured profilesexternal link, now available on Natural England’s website, are:
  • Sherwood, Arden, Severn and Avon Vales, Humberhead Levels and South Devon NCAs, in addition to the Southern Pennines profile already available.
Source: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2012/180712.aspx

National Character Areas map out 159 landscape areas, each defined by common landscape characteristics including natural features, vegetation types, buildings and settlements.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Congratulations to the Cranborne Chase AONB for passing first round funding first stage funding bid for the proposed ‘AONB Countryside Centre

The AONB has been successful in the the first stage funding bid for the proposed ‘AONB Countryside Centre’ which was voted through by the Local Action Group of the Sowing SEEDS funding programme last Wednesday.

Wyvern Heritage was very pleased to be able to help the AONB with this first stage application, gathering evidence and advising on the bid document.
The detailed second stage bid will now be put together for the SEEDS Executive in September. It is envisaged that the planned ‘Countryside Centre’ will offer accredited and vocational training courses in countryside and associated skills. It will also be the base for an AONB-wide volunteer force. The third element is to be an AONB information hub for local communities and visitors alike.

See the AONB Website for more information www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Natural England launches further consultation on upland review

Natural England has invited further contributions to the second stage of a wide-ranging evidence review into land management, biodiversity and ecosystem services in the uplands. Views and contributions are welcome from upland land managers, land owners, industry, academic, scientific and third sector groups.

The independent review of upland evidence is being carried out in two parts and was launched last month with a request for contributions around three initial topic areas. The first phase will draw to a close on 20 July and the independent experts will begin to carefully consider the evidence in relation to each of the questions set out in the scoping document: (341kb)pdf document.

Natural England is now inviting submissions of evidence for the second phase of the study which will cover:
  • Determining environmentally sustainable stocking regimes on moorland
  • Assessing the feasibility of restoring degraded blanket bog
The deadline for submissions is 14 September 2012.

Source: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2012/170712.aspx

Capital Grant scheme open for listed places of worship

A one-off capital grant scheme worth £1.1m has been made available for listed places of worship until April 2013. The Church of England and the National Churches Trust will distribute the funds. The Church of England has received £781,000 which it will allocate across its dioceses.
The National Churches Trust has received £319,000 and will run a grant scheme open to all listed places of worship that are not in the Church of England’s care. For more information, please visit http://nationalchurchestrust.org/supporting-you/grants/community-grants-new.php

Monday, 23 July 2012

English Heritage send out nationwide survey of farmers to look at heritage at risk

English Heritage estimates that there are some 1,600 Scheduled Monuments at risk from cultivation on farms across England. To tackle this problem and save these precious archaeological sites for future generations, it is sending out a nationwide questionnaire to farmers and land managers about farming and management practices on their land.

See http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/nationwide-survey-farmers/ for more information

Friday, 20 July 2012

UK Landscape Award 2012 Open to entries

Showcasing the best projects in the UK

The UK Landscape Award celebrates the power of the local landscape to benefit communities within it. Not only will the winner of the award represent the quality of UK projects but the winner and commended projects will be promoted as good examples of what can be achieved.

A landscape for Europe

The UK Landscape Award was created by the European Landscape Convention and helps to implement it in the UK. The winner will become the UK's entry to the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe (COE) which will be decided by the COE in 2013.

All kinds of landscapes are eligible to enter

The landscape might be newly-created, it could be the improvement or renewal of an existing landscape or perhaps it has brought new life or community involvement to an existing place. All types of landscape - urban, rural, peri-urban (urban edge), suburban, coastal, agricultural, industrial, designed, natural, cultural, appealing to or designed for children - might be eligible to enter.

Who can enter

To be eligible to enter the UK landscape Award, the project must have been carried out by a local or regional authority, a non governmental organisation (NGO), a registered charity or a partnership with or between the above. The project will also need to be available to the public for 3 years before the final submission date.

A great opportunity

The Award is a great opportunity for organisations to demonstrate how they work with communities to make better places for all to enjoy.

Important dates

Entries close at 12 noon on 19 October 2012. The winner will be announced in November 2012. The UK winner will then be submitted to the Council of Europe’s European Landscape Award for 2013.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Natural England reveals next steps for Marine Conservation Zones

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Natural England have presented the formal Advice Package on 127 recommended Marine Conservation Zones to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

This advice marks the latest step towards the Government’s objective to create a well-managed network of Marine Protected Areas to help protect the range of habitats and species in our seas by the end of 2016. The Advice Package is being provided to Defra to support the decisions the Environment Minister will make on the designation of MCZs after a formal public consultation is held (the consultation will start in December 2012).

See http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/about_us/news/2012/190712.aspx for more information

Monday, 16 July 2012

HLF launches new Strategic Framework 2013-18

As reported in the Heritage Alliance Update

Last week at a launch event at the British Museum, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) set out its plans for investing £375m a year of lottery money over the next five years, with the publication of its Strategic Framework 2013-18.

HLF Chair Dame Jenny Abramsky pledged to work with heritage organisations and other partners across the UK to build a resilient heritage economy, and outlined details of new funding streams designed to enable a strong, robust sector to rise to the challenging conditions it now faces.

The strategic framework for 2013-2018 includes plans to: run a further round of the Skills for the Future programme; offer development funding and professional mentoring, and introduce start-up grants and transition funding for organisations needing to cope with new challenges; kick start philanthropy through providing endowments and smaller grants for capacity building, and support for fundraising training; stimulate local economic growth with a new Heritage Enterprise scheme designed to fund partnerships – including social and private enterprises – to develop sustainable new uses for the most challenging historic sites; encourage the sector to use digital technology, by asking HLF-supported projects to make their digital content widely available at no charge and funding stand-alone digital projects; and extend HLF support for heritage in private ownership under the Our Heritage programme (£10,000 to £100,000) for physical works to heritage, provided they achieve a “step-change” in terms of public access and engagement. HLF also plans to continue to make the application process more straightforward, with the introduction of Sharing Heritage – a new grant programme for smaller projects needing £3,000-£10,000.

For further details and information on all the funding streams and initiatives, see the full Strategic Framework here. To see The Alliance's response to the HLF Strategic Framework, click here.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Natural England publishes Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) survey

This study provides a wealth of useful evidence and sampled 47, 000 people in 2011/12, providing a unique data set on long term trends in countryside usage.

This year’s results show that:
  • Volumes of visits to urban parks have increased 13 per cent and visits to paths, cycleways and bridleways have increased by 20 per cent since 2010/11.
  • 68 per cent of visits were to places within two miles of the respondent’s home.
  • 93 per cent of the population agreed that having open green spaces close to where they live is important. Also 86 per cent agreed that spending time out of doors was an important part of their life.
  • Nearly 2.7 billion visits were made to English countryside, coast and open spaces last year - around 65 visits per adult.
  • An estimated £20 billion was spent during visits to the natural environment in 2011/12.
  • Nearly 1 in 6 people (16%) only visit the natural environment twice or less a year.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Check out our sister blog Wyvern Archaeology and History Update

This blog Features events, news and facts of relevance to the history, archaeology of North East Dorset, South Wiltshire and the Cranborne Chase.


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Attending the Sowing Seeds LAG this evening where the Cranborne Chase AONB are presenting their bid for a countryside centre

Sowing SEEDS covers the Community Partnerships Executive North Dorset (CPEND) area of North and East Dorset and the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), who working together originally secured £2.85 million (as a result of a national review on all LAGs during 2011, the revised programme allocation is now £1.944M for the lifetime of the programme) to improve the economic wellbeing of the area with funding available until the end of 2013. The funding is being delivered through the Local Action Group, a Group that wants to support your project ideas.

The AONB team, with the support of the AONB partnership, have assessed the feasibility of creating a multipurpose ‘countryside centre’ that would provide vocational training courses, special interest courses, environmental education, volunteering opportunities and a range of visitor opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside and are biding to Sowing SEEDS for this finance.

Wyvern Heritage and Landscape Consultancy have been aiding the AONB in putting together the funding bid for this project and gathering evidence.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Presenting today the historic character areas project to the North Wessex Downs AONB council of partners

The North Wessex Downs AONB council of partners oversees the implementation of the  management plan. This project will allow the AONB to use existing Historic landscape datasets more effectively.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Check out the WSHC guide to dating old photographs

How often do we discover old photographs or family albums tucked away or which have recently come into our possession, but which frustratingly contain little or no information about their subjects? It is possible to discover more about these images than meets the eye, if you know what to look out for.
Check out the guide on the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre Blog to find out more


Thursday, 5 July 2012

Explore your local archaeology and history during the Festival for British Archaeology

CBA Festival of British Archaeology 2012: Saturday 14 to Sunday 29 July

The Festival showcases the very best of British archaeology, by presenting over 750 special events organised and hosted by museums, heritage organisations, national and countryside parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists across the UK. You don’t have to be an archaeologist to join in - the Festival gives everyone the opportunity to learn about their local heritage, see archaeology in action, and get hands on with history.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

New CBA commissioned highlights low levels of ethnic diversity in the historic environment sector

Those involved in the historic environment sector need to take more action to ensure success in developing the ethnic diversity of its work and volunteer force.

This is the conclusion of a ground-breaking research report, launched today, which examined ethnic diversity within the historic environment workforce. The report which was commissioned by the Council for British Archaeology Diversifying Participation Working Group and funded by English Heritage identified barriers to participation for minority ethnic groups in education, volunteer schemes and the workforce. The report also made a number of recommendations to overcome diversity issues through better data collection, greater profiling of ethnic minority involvement and improvement in recruitment processes and professional practices.

See http://www.britarch.ac.uk/news/120620-diversityreport for more information

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Summary of responses on 'heritage tax' published


HM Revenue and Customs published its Summary of Responses to the consultation on the 'heritage tax' - the Budget proposal to levy VAT on approved alterations to listed buildings.

The Heritage Alliance has been campaigning on this issue since March; we are going through the Government's response very carefully, and will publish a statement on our website shortly.

818 of the 1493 responses to the VAT consultation (which also included measures relating to sports drinks, hairdressers' chairs, etc) related to the 'heritage tax' - the highest number of responses across all the measures in the consultation.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Attended the first meeting of the Wiltshire HLC project - information on this project is available via the Wiltshire history centre website

This project has been sponsored by English Heritage and will run for three years, starting in April 2012 and finishing in March 2015. It will examine the whole of Wiltshire (including Swindon Borough) and is being carried out in collaboration with a range of other organisations including Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, National Trust, Natural England and the Environment Agency.

As part of this process there will be several consultation stages where the information produced will be reviewed and analysed, and contributions made by project stakeholders.

All of this research will go towards producing a detailed and interactive digital map, descriptions and photographs of the landscapes visible across the county, analysis of archaeology present in the landscape and so much more!

The project also intends to integrate the historic landscape character studies that have already been produced for the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB (http://www.historiclandscape.co.uk/index.html) and the North Wessex Downs AONB (http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=12848).