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Traditional Building Skills, Conservation courses and lecture programme for 2016/17

18 March 2016

Essex County Council is launching its 2016/17 programme for Traditional Building Skills, Conservation courses and lectures.



Run by Place Services, a leading provider of integrated environmental assessment, planning, design and management services based within Essex County Council, the courses are designed to enable conservation and building professionals, contractors, general builders, and the owners and managers of historic buildings and sites, to increase their knowledge and skills in the technical and practical issues involved in the conservation management and repair of historic buildings and the wider historic environment.
All of the courses and lectures are delivered by leading craftsmen and experts in their specialist fields and are open to all skill levels (unless specified otherwise).
The lectures, which are recognised by the Institute of Historic Building and Conservation (IHBC), continue to be run from the magnificent Cressing Temple Barns near Braintree in Essex. This year’s programme comprises of a number of new highlights as well as old favourites. New subjects include the conservation of ruins, heritage interpretation, and managing the relationship between trees and historic buildings.
Practical, ‘hands on’ courses are either workshop-based, or run from ‘live’ projects on historic buildings. This year there is a fantastic new venue for the timber frame repair course, and a rare opportunity to learn historic brickwork repair skills on a 19th century windmill.
Speaking about the programme Essex County Councillor Mick Page Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning’ said: “Every year I’m delighted to see the return of our traditional building skills programme. It delights me that we have so many people who are passionate about preserving our heritage and treasured buildings. Whatever your level of experience, the courses are a fascinating way to learn new techniques from highly skilled experts.”
Highlight’s of this year’s programme include a special one day conference on designed landscapes in Essex, to be held at Audley End as part of the national Capability Brown Festival 2016, celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
Also, in recognition of the important role that livestock have in the traditional management of historic landscapes, the Essex Grazing Project is hosting a course on the management of livestock for conservation grazing.
Adrian Gascoyne, Historic and Built Environment Manager said: “It is vital that we don’t lose these traditional building techniques as they are critical to preserving our beautiful heritage. The programme we run gives everyone from a homeowner of a listed building to a practising craftsman the opportunity to learn a new skill and thus keep our heritage alive.”
A number of free places are offered under a bursary scheme, which heritage developer City & Country are supporting for the eighth year running. To find out more about eligibility and to apply for funding, contact Gemma Clayton, by phoning 0333 013 2738 or emailing
To view the range of courses and lectures offered by the programme, visit