Clair Shields – Planning Officer (Building Conservation) and Monument Management Scheme Volunteer Coordinator
The built environment of the North York Moors is just as important as the natural environment in making up the landscape of the National Park. The historic and cultural heritage of the North York Moors are an integral part of the area’s special qualities. The role of the Building Conservation team (that’s Beth, Ed and I) is to help preserve and enhance these particular qualities.
The team’s work touches on many different aspects of National Park Authority functions from commenting on development proposals through the planning process, to farm conservation by helping farmers maintain their traditional farmsteads, as well as supporting and advising work funded either by ourselves, or by key stakeholders such as Natural England and English Heritage and also through external grant schemes from funders such as the local LEADER Programme, The Country Houses Foundation and York Gardens Trust. Partnership work makes limited funding go further.
We are extremely lucky to still have our own grant funds available to us. We use our own grants to help improve the quality of design ensuring development preserves the surviving character of our villages and the landscape beyond, as well as protecting the historic fabric within the 3000+ listed buildings within the North York Moors. Listed buildings here range from cottage to castle, chapel to ‘temple’, milepost to mine chimney; taking in pig-stys, gin-gangs* and privys** along the way.
We also look to promote and support the use of traditional materials and techniques which help to maintain the important skills which are essential to the sympathetic care and upkeep of our historic environment into the future.
Here are a few pictures to give a flavour of the work we get involved in. Spot the difference between the befores and afters. The photos show grant funded work carried out through the National Park Authority’s own grant funds and also with funding from our key stakeholders.
* Gin-gang is a building to enclose a horse driven mill wheel
** Privy is a building to enclose an outside toilet