Essex/Suffolk: Volunteers needed for ‘Managing a Masterpiece’ project

Valley Farm at Flatford in the heart of Constable Country

Valley Farm at Flatford in the heart of Constable Country - Credit: Archant

Volunteers are being sought to help prevent historic buildings situated along the River Stour falling into disrepair.

The idea of the initiative is that people living in the area will be trained to carry out a visual survey of nearby Grade-II listed properties to build up a comprehensive picture of the state of historic buildings along the Essex- Suffolk border. The project is being supported by English Heritage, and the Heritage Lottery-funded ‘Managing a Masterpiece’ project, and will be co-ordinated by Essex County Council.

The council says there are more than 1,500 buildings of special architectural or historical interest recorded for the Stour Valley – most of them timber-framed and many medieval or post-medieval in origin. Current data for the counties would suggest that around 2pc of the area’s listed buildings are at risk.

However, there has been no systematic survey and there are still significant gaps in the information.

Essex county councillor John Jowers, who is cabinet member for libraries, communities and planning, said: “The Stour Valley is a stunning historical landscape and in the interest of preserving its beauty we urge Essex residents to get involved and to play a part in the surveying of the buildings where possible.”

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