Thursday 07 November 2013

Priming solid timber doors, ordering sash window parts: How you can play your part in building conservation

There are more than 300,000 listed buildings in the UK, all of which need to be maintained on a regular basis to ensure that the architectural features that make them so special are preserved for generations to come.

While much of this work is done by an army of professionals who have skills in a particular area of building conservation, many organisations including the National Trust, rely on volunteers to help them achieve their goal of keeping Britain’s historic buildings in the condition in which they were intended.

If you are keen to become a conservation champion and want to make a contribution to conservation projects on a local or national basis, working on anything from priming solid timber doors to examining sliding sash windows, why not take a look at the opportunities below.

Survey a grade II listed building for English Heritage

Members of the public from all walks of life are being called upon to carry out surveys of England’s 345,000 Grade II buildings in an effort to preserve local heritage.

A pilot of the project has already seen English Heritage-trained volunteers complete surveys on around 5,000 Grade II buildings in both rural and urban areas across the length and breadth of the UK, with professionals checking the results.

Commenting on the project, Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: “For people who want to volunteer, we hope to have the first surveys ready to recruit next Autumn so if you want to register your interest contact English Heritage Customer Services. You’ve seen it on TV but this could be your chance to help save a historic building or improve a conservation area. You might even find yourself winning one of our coveted English Heritage Angel Awards. Or you might simply want to get out and about, make new friends and learn more about local architecture and history!”

Volunteer at a National Trust property

The National Trust has a number of opportunities for volunteers to get involved with conservation and taking part in one of their working holidays is the perfect opportunity to experience the splendour of a National Trust property and help to keep it looking as the good as the era it was built in at the same time.

The range of holidays categories include construction, historic houses, gardening and rural skills. You could find yourself doing anything from repairing dry stone walls to unwrapping precious artefacts as properties open up for another season. All that’s left to do is pack your wellies and get booking.

Test your construction mettle as a volunteer for the Churches Conservation Trust

Help maintain the nation’s historic churches by working as a volunteer for the conservation team at the Churches Conservation Trust. Volunteers will get the opportunity to get really stuck into a project carrying out tasks ranging from conservation cleaning in churches to carrying out assessment reports on a church’s historical, architectural and archaeological significance.