Communities can create plans for historic environment

Higher Peak Hill archaeological dig. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0672-36-12AW. To order your cop

Higher Peak Hill archaeological dig. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 0672-36-12AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

COMMUNITIES like Sidmouth’s have been urged to help create action plans for their local historic environment.

The East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership is launching a new pilot project funded by English Heritage.

They want to build on successes of recent external funded historic environment projects – like an archaeological dig at High Peak last year.

Heritage Lottery Fund community schemes such as Parishscapes and In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson also proved templates for success.

The new initiative will work with groups to identify actions and targets across the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to help conserve and enhance historic sites and features within their parishes.

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The action blueprints will also provide local councils with additional information by which to help shape any future neighbourhood plans they may consider developing.

In parallel with this work the project team and partners will also be developing an AONB wide heritage plan.

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Using existing assessments and records, this wider work will enable the AONB Partnership to develop its heritage conservation and provide an important foundation for any future landscape scale funding proposals.

Project manager Chris Woodruff said: “We have a rich historic environment in East Devon and a strong record of community working that we wish to build on. The funding from English Heritage is timely in this our 50th anniversary year and at a time when our historic environment is under increasing pressure.

“The project will enable us to expand and develop techniques and meet priorities in the AONB Management Plan.

“We hope to develop approaches that other AONBs and bodies can learn from and, if appropriate, mimic. Most of all we are looking forward to seeing the work translate into action for heritage at the community level.”

Visit for more information or contact Emma Rouse on 01725 517417 or at

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