Place Services at Essex County Council is launching its 2017/18 programme for Traditional Building Skills, Conservation Courses and Lectures.
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 a variety of levels of skill.
The lectures, which are recognised by the Institute of Historic Building and Conservation (IHBC), run from the magnificent Cressing Temple Barns near Braintree in Essex.
This year’s programme includes a number of new subjects from investigating and remedying dampness and timber decay, to historic paintwork and the management of conservation areas.
Practical, ‘hands on’ courses are either workshop-based, or run from ‘live’ projects on historic buildings. Venues for practical courses this year will include Stock Windmill in Essex, Little Wenham Hall in Suffolk and the magnificent walled garden at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.
Highlights of this year’s programme include a special one-day conference on the Forests of Essex, to be held in memory of Oliver Rackham, who contributed so much to our understanding of forests and woods in Essex, which will explore the cultural and natural heritage of our wooded landscapes and their future management. Another highlight is a Hot Lime Workshop delivered by one of England’s leading stonemasons.
Adrian Gascoyne, Head of Place Services, said: “It is vital that we don’t lose these traditional building techniques as they are essential to preserving our rich heritage. The programme we run gives everyone from a homeowner of a listed building to a practising craftsman the opportunity to learn new skills and to preserve our heritage for future generations.”
A number of free places are offered under a bursary scheme, which heritage developer City & Country are supporting for the ninth year running.