Barns are restored to preserve heritage

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BARNS which were in danger of falling into dereliction are being restored to help conserve the landscape, heritage and wildlife of the Peak District National Park.

The Peak District National Park Authority said it was working with Natural England to help farmers access up to 80 per cent funding to repair historic barns for agricultural use.

Officers said that by the end of this financial year, 14 barns will have been restored, including buildings at Wardlow, Bradwell, Brushfield, and Alstonefield.

Project leaders said the schemes use local materials, provide work for local businesses, carry on traditional building skills and boost the local economy.

The latest barn to be completed includes elements which date back to the 1600s but it had been badly damaged by a fire in 1949 and never properly restored. A replacement asbestos roof was failing, walls were structurally unsound, loft floors were unsafe, and stonework was eroding. Now the roofs have been returned to their original tiles, loft floors and wooden hay mangers have been replaced and window surrounds repaired with local stone.

National park cultural heritage manager Ken Smith said: “These projects contribute to the Peak District economy, traditional skills, heritage buildings, wildlife conservation, the landscape and farming. In every case they fulfil national park purposes, and that’s why we’re working hand-in-hand with Natural England and the farmers and landowners to help push them forward.”

Kate Maltby, of Natural England, added: “This is a great example of how Natural England works in partnership with the national park authority and local communities to achieve conservation of the heritage and natural beauty of the Peak District.

“It’s good news that these traditional farm buildings have been restored for everyone to appreciate into the future, while also supporting the area’s farmers and traditional craftsmanship.”