IHBC’s ‘Conservation Wiki’ spearheads the digital revolution – a 2016 IHBC School launch that gives ‘Power to the people’!

IHBC wikiIn a bold move to put building and historic environment conservation at the forefront of digital collaboration, the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) has, at its 2016 Day School, launched `a knowledge-sharing platform for built and historic environment conservation that is the first of its kind.

The free-to-use, open-access platform is the first expert portal to be created on Designing Buildings Wiki, the world-leading construction industry knowledge base. Conservation Wiki is a specially-designed, self-contained site led by the IHBC within Designing Buildings Wiki.

Conservation Wiki has launched with 100 articles already available on subjects ranging from the adaption of semi-detached dwellings to reduce summer overheating, to VAT Policy for historic buildings. It is also linked to the 3,500 more general articles on Designing Buildings Wiki, making it part of a truly comprehensive resource. The IHBC is now calling on conservation professionals to upload their expertise to help the site expand, making conservation knowledge freely available to everyone.

IHBC Director Dr Sean O’Reilly said: ‘Conservation Wiki is a collaborative resource that everyone can use and improve. We are calling on anyone with conservation expertise or specialist interests to add to the site to help spread best practice, promote innovation and prevent mistakes, so sign up now for regular updates. Don’t leave your knowledge gathering dust on your hard drive, add it to Conservation Wiki, improve the industry and raise your own profile at the same time.’

Dr Gregor Harvie, co-founder of Designing Buildings Wiki said: ‘The IHBC is leading the way with the creation of Conservation Wiki. We hope it will be the first of many special interest areas on Designing Buildings Wiki. Piggy-backing on our platform gives IHBC access to an established audience of 10,000 users a day, as well as thousands of existing articles.’ 

About Conservation Wiki

Conservation Wiki is operated by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.  It provides a platform for sharing knowledge about the conservation of the built and historic environment, from the restoration of cathedrals to the management of conservation areas and retrofitting period, traditional and modern properties to improve their performance.

Content that is owned and maintained by the IHBC is protected and linked to its source on the IHBC website.  Content that is not owned by the IHBC is not protected and does not necessarily reflect IHBC policy or practice.  However, Conservation Wiki is a publicly accessible service and the IHBC encourages practitioners to populate it with relevant content as well as to contribute to the development of existing articles.  Where appropriate these contributions can be used to inform IHBC policy and practice.

Comments on protected content should be emailed to the IHBC’s Support Officer Carla Pianese, at support@ihbc.org.uk.

About Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Wiki is the free, cross-discipline knowledge base for the construction industry. Anyone can create articles about subjects they know and find articles about subjects they don’t. It covers everything from site acquisition and design through to construction and facilities management.

Designing Buildings Wiki is supported by; The Institution of Civil Engineers, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, The Chartered Institute of Building, the IHBC, U and I Group PLC, BRE Trust and BSRIA.

See http://www.designingbuildings.co.uk

For more information contact Gregor Harvie at gregor.harvie@designingbuildings.co.uk

About the IHBC

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is the professional body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment experts in the UK. It establishes, develops and maintains the highest standards of conservation practice, to support the effective protection and enhancement of the historic environment, and to promote heritage-led regeneration and access to the historic environment. 

Sign up for regular updates from Designing Buildings Wiki 

See the IHBC’s Conservation Wiki

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on IHBC’s ‘Conservation Wiki’ spearheads the digital revolution – a 2016 IHBC School launch that gives ‘Power to the people’!

IHBC 2016 School launch offers more ‘Power to the People’: ‘Caring for your Home’ – New help on how to look after the places in which we live!

IHBC_Caring2016The IHBC has launched its ‘Caring for your home’ website at its 2016 School, offering an accessible guide to anyone seeking help in looking after their home; and while there’s still work to be done on the resource – as a Beta test site – there’s lots of help on offer there already. 

IHBC’s Vice Chair Kathy Davies said: ‘This is set to be a very useful new resource for home-owners and residents.  I’m delighted that the IHBC, with initiatives like this site, is making real contributions to the widest constituencies of heritage users.  It is the perfect way for the IHBC to help ‘join the dots’ between all the players that shape the future of our heritage’. 

IHBC’s Technical Committee, led by Janice Gooch, helped shaped the distinctive style of this resource.  Janice said: ‘This is a modern day resource that replaces the much respected publication of ‘Stitch in Time’, which we produced with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).  This website sets out the core principles and forms a strong starting point for further development and progression, like any good conservation document.’

‘Though aimed at the general householder, it is a great resource for anyone, professionals included.’

‘Also, it will be developed further with the help of IHBC members and colleagues, but always remembering the key audience: the general public. This is an important step from the IHBC to provide the public with independent free guidance written by heritage professionals.’ 

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘The ‘Caring for your home’ web resource retains the classic Hellman cartoons from the much revered ‘Stitch in time’, but there’s a very different character.  With this digital platform we’ll be able to reach many more people who need access to basic guidance on how best to look after their homes.’

‘And of course many of the lessons and tips apply equally to properties of very different types – not least the number one priority, needing to take care of them’.

‘The website is built using a ‘mobile first’ approach, so you can take the content along with you too, once you’ve a signal.  But do also remember that you should always put health and safety first, and don’t use it when or where it might lead to an accident!’ 

Visit the Caring for your home website 

As an example see the safety page

See more about the background

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on IHBC 2016 School launch offers more ‘Power to the People’: ‘Caring for your Home’ – New help on how to look after the places in which we live!

IHBC NW conference – ‘Home is where the heart is…’ – launched at IHBC’s 2016 School: 6 October

NW2016The North West (NW) Branch of the IHBC has launched its 2016 Day Conference, ‘Home is where the heart is: Meeting housing need in historic buildings and areas’, which will take place on 6 October at the Liverpool Medical Institution.

IHBC NW Branch Chair Paul Hartley said: ‘The conference will explore the challenges of designing new homes within historic areas, consider how to sensitively adapt and convert historic buildings to meet the needs of existing and future occupants, as well as highlighting examples of best practice both locally and nationally.  It will be of interest to planners, architects, developers, property owners, amenity societies, and all those who manage and care for the historic environment.’

IHBC NW Branch Events coordinator Katie Wray said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be launching another conference, especially on a topic that is thoroughly cross-boundary and multi-disciplinary. Explored through the lens of heritage, we hope the conference will generate new debate appealing to a wide audience.’ 

For more details and to book see housing.IHBC.org.uk

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on IHBC NW conference – ‘Home is where the heart is…’ – launched at IHBC’s 2016 School: 6 October

Awards aplenty at IHBC Worcester 2016: Gus Astley Student Awards and Marsh

IHBC_Dinner_2016The Annual Dinner of the IHBC’s 2016 School in Worcester concluded with the presentations of awards prizes and certificates to a range of winners across the IHBC’s renowned Gus Astley Student Award and the first year of the IHBC’s two new Marsh Awards, for Community Contribution and for Successful Learning.

Marsh Christian Trust trustee Nick Carter, presented Sam Tinsdeall, of the National Trust, his Marsh Award for ‘Successful Learning’.  Sam was able to take up his free place at the Annual School, courtesy of the IHBC, and receive the £500 cash award from the Marsh trust in person at the dinner.  Unfortunately Chris Hall, former conservation officer at Scarborough, who received the award for ‘Community contribution’ could not attend, but his certificate and cheque are now winging their way to him.

Gus Astley Fund Trustee and IHBC Research co-ordinator Bob Kindred MBE spoke to the successful Student Award submissions in advance of the presentations for the 2015 round:

  • Winner, awarded £500: Samantha Stones, for ‘Exploring the value of heritage: Urban exploration and the historic environment’
  • Commended, and awarded £100 each:
    • Anna Shelley, for her work on ‘Anne of Denmark as an Architectural Patron, 1603-19’
    • Andrew McBride, for his work entitled ‘Amongst the Ruins of Slains Castle – Is there a Future for Scotland’s ‘Dracula Castle’?’ and
    • Rob Ward, for his ‘Assessment of Large Drystone Structures on the Ffestiniog Railway’.

All were able to take up free places at the School, which the IHBC considers to be a key part of the educational benefits of this annual award.

Find out about the IHBC Marsh Awards

For more on the Gus Astley Student Award, and to submit for the 2016 award, which closes on 31 July, see the website

For the 2016 Award announcement see the NewsBlogs

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on Awards aplenty at IHBC Worcester 2016: Gus Astley Student Awards and Marsh

IHBC’s 2016 AGM sees new officers elected, along with some familiar faces

IHBC_AGM_2016At the IHBC’s 2016 Annual General Meeting, on 24 June 2016, chaired by IHBC President David McDonald, James Caird has been elected IHBC Chair, succeeding Mike Brown, with new faces leading the national committees to include Roy Lewis, as Policy Secretary and Bridget Turnbull as Education Secretary, as well as the more familiar Dave Chetwyn, IHBC past chair, returning now as Communications and Outreach Secretary.

Other returning chairs and officers include Richard Morrice, Treasurer; Jo Evans, IHBC Secretary; Kathy Davies, Vice Chair, and David Kincaid, now Membership Secretary though previously Policy Secretary.  Nominated Branch representatives have been appointed in accordance with Branch recommendations.  Outgoing officers were thanked warmly for their substantial and contributions. 

Arrangements and nominations for the AGM elections were circulated to members in the AGM papers, and more details on the elected officers will be posted on the IHBC’s website in the coming weeks.

For more on Branch representatives see links from the Branch page 

For details on the IHBC and its corporate structures and officers see links from our ‘About’ page

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on IHBC’s 2016 AGM sees new officers elected, along with some familiar faces

IHBC NI welcomes new Minister as ‘HE Division’ details structures and contacts

IHBC NIThe IHBC Northern Ireland (NI) Branch has welcomed the appointment of the new Department for Communities (DfC) Minister, Paul Givan of the DUP, and the opportunity to work with him, while the DfC’s heritage section, the Historic Environment Division of Northern Ireland has just published a document on its structure and a list of contacts.

IHBC NI Branch Chair Andrew McClelland said: ‘On behalf of the Branch, we are very much looking forward to working with the new Minister, helping together to progress the conservation of the Historic Environment in Northern Ireland.’

HE Division writes:

Historic Environment Division works in collaboration with a very wide range of individuals and organisations in the public, private and third sectors to ensure that, together, we record, protect, conserve and promote our heritage in ways which support and sustain our economy and our communities. We provide expertise and skills, seeking to improve the understanding, caring for and appreciation of our heritage, and to ensure a suitable balance between respecting a rich past and building a successful future. 

Find our about the DfC minster

Find out more about the Division

Download the document

HE contacts

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on IHBC NI welcomes new Minister as ‘HE Division’ details structures and contacts

CIfA-IHBC FREE reciprocal ‘taster’ memberships as MoU generates ‘a great new deal for all our members’

The IHBC and CIfA have announced the first major outcome of the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations: free 1-year ‘taster’ memberships to help new members experience our respective disciplines and support at first hand.

IHBC Chair Mike Brown and CIfA Chair Jan Wills issued a joint statement saying: ‘We are absolutely delighted that our new Memorandum of Understanding is already delivering a great new deal for all our members.  Our free 1-year reciprocal ‘taster’ memberships offer just the sort of value, benefit and capacity building our hard-hit heritage sector so badly needs.’

‘This innovative initiative will also enhance mutual understanding and respect across our diverse but critical constituencies.  It will also extend our collective reach and impact far beyond the usual heritage borders and, hopefully, into the hearts of government and industry.’

CIfA CEO Peter Hinton said: ‘Those CIfA members whose work involves or informs built and historic environment conservation are encouraged to seek additional professional recognition for this specialist work by applying for IHBC membership – just as we encourage those conservation specialists whose work involves archaeology to seek accreditation from us.’

IHBC Director Dr Sean O’Reilly said: ‘We are very pleased to be able to recommend to all IHBC members whose work involves archaeological practice the generous offer of free CIfA membership for a year, so they can experience the discipline and service at first hand and at no cost.  And where our members’ work involves or informs archaeological practice, we would also encourage them to seek from the CIfA that recognition, status and accreditation.’

CIfA members can sign up for IHBC membership by following the processes and links HERE

NB: Please note that to take advantage of the 1-year free trial, CIfA members should enter ‘admin@ihbc.org.uk’ in the field ‘Email address for invoicing’ and your CIfA membership details in the ‘Notes’ field at the end of the form.

For an introduction to IHBC membership see the website and associated links.

IHBC members can sign up for CIfA’s membership taster HERE

For more on the CIfA’s membership see the website and associated links.

NOTE: PLEASE REMEMBER THAT SIGNING UP TO CIfA OR IHBC MEMBERSHIP UNDER THIS PROGRAMME DOES NOT CONFER ANY ACCREDITATION OR GENERATE ANY RIGHT TO USE POST-NOMINALS SUCH AS THOSE INCLUDING IHBC OR CIfA

For more on the IHBC see: ihbc.org.uk

For more from the IHBC on the CIfA MOU see the website

For more on the CIfA see: archaeologists.net

For more from the CIfA on the IHBC MOU see the website

Posted in IHBC NewsBlog | Comments Off on CIfA-IHBC FREE reciprocal ‘taster’ memberships as MoU generates ‘a great new deal for all our members’

IHBC update: 3 conservation contenders on RIBA’s first International Prize

IHBC_Flickr_image_3The IHBC is delighted to be able to highlight to members the important place of conservation and restoration in the contenders for the the first RIBA International Prize, as three projects classed in the ‘Restoration /Conservation’ category will be visited and evaluated over the summer.

The contenders are:

  • Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre Ribeira Grande, The Azores by Menos é Mais, Arquitectos Associados by João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto, Lda.
  • European Hansemuseum, Lübeck, Germany, by Studio Andreas Heller Architects & Designers\
  • Fine Arts Museum of Asturias, Oviedo, Spain, by Francisco Mangado – Mangado y Asociados

RIBA writes:

  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announces the buildings to be visited this summer in contention for RIBA’s first global architecture award, The RIBA International Prize
  • Entries were submitted from 50 countries, the judges have selected projects to visit in over 20 countries
  • Billie Tsien, founding partner of award winning architecture practice, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, joins the Grand Jury for the Prize led by Lord Rogers of Riverside

The winner of the first RIBA International Prize will be announced in December 2016

Read the press release

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on IHBC update: 3 conservation contenders on RIBA’s first International Prize

Could skyscraper seeking permission host London’s highest museum?

The City’s next tallest skyscraper – currently seeking planning approval – could become home to the capital’s highest museum, after the Museum of London unveiled plans to create public viewing galleries on the 71st and 72nd storeys of 1 Undershaft.

See more on 1 Undershaft and here

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Could skyscraper seeking permission host London’s highest museum?

Foyles War – SAVE & HE promote ‘call-in’ to halt SOHO demolition

SAVE Britain’s Heritage and Historic England (HE) are promoting a ‘call-in’ of proposals would see three unlisted buildings of merit, including the former Foyles store, demolished along with several other key buildings

SAVE writes:

Last week the GLA announced they would not intervene in the application, so SAVE has written to the Secretary of State, requesting that he call in the application for public inquiry.

These are handsome buildings, Victorian, Edwardian, and twentieth century, in brick, stone and stucco with considerable charm. Foyles opened in 1929 at 113-119 Charing Cross Road and was the largest bookshop in the world. Together the buildings make a clear positive contribution to the Conservation Area and surrounding heritage assets, and should be retained, adapted and reused.

In their place a monolithic nine storey office led development is proposed, out of character with the Conservation Area. It is much higher and bulkier than its neighbours – in marked contrast to the fine grain of the surrounding streets and the prevailing domestic scale of the Soho Conservation Area.

Westminster City Council approved the application in May, despite strong objections from Historic England, the Victorian Society, and others. The Greater London Authority also stated that ‘the loss of the original Foyles building causes significant harm to the conservation area’.

Historic England writes:

Responding to the news that Westminster Council has decided to give permission for the demolition of the original Foyles store in Soho and replace it with a new development against Historic England’s advice, the heritage body is asking London’s new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to call in the scheme and refuse it.

Chief Executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, said: ‘We are sorely disappointed by Westminster Council’s decision. The height, bulk and corporate character of the design for this building to replace the much-loved original Foyles store on Charing Cross Road is completely out of keeping with the historic grain of Soho.

‘There is only so much of the fabric you can tear away before a special place starts to lose its meaning. Soho is one of the most distinctive, well-loved places London has, and the Foyles building is another important part of it now threatened with demolition. Buildings like the one proposed to replace Foyles do not belong in this important conservation area.’

The existing building was probably the first purpose-built bookshop and certainly the most famous of its kind in the country. It stands in the Soho Conservation Area, known for its rich and diverse history.

In its advice to the Council, Historic England expressed concern about the loss of a wide group of buildings, including Foyles, saying: ‘Soho’s distinctive charm is formed by its layers of architectural styles from different periods. It is village-like but also louche and edgy.’

Historic England advised Westminster Council that this development would strike at the heart of why Soho is so special.

Read more about the scheme

See the petition

Read about SAVE’s campaign

Read HE’s news article

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Foyles War – SAVE & HE promote ‘call-in’ to halt SOHO demolition

Wales’ new environment minister outlines 5 ‘asks’ of planning

Newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, gave the keynote address at the RTPI Wales’s recent Planning Conference by outlining her 5 asks of the planning system:

  • A visionary and evidence based planning system
  • A connected planning system
  • A planning system that helps to deliver
  • An efficient planning system
  • A valued planning system

The RTPI writes:

Newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, gave the keynote address at yesterday’s Wales Planning Conference by outlining her 5 asks of the planning system. She called on the nearly 300 delegates to work with her to deliver them.

The new Minister’s asks echoed the 10 asks RTPI Cymru made prior to the election, to which she referred, before outlining hers:

  • A visionary and evidence based planning system
  • A connected planning system
  • A planning system that helps to deliver
  • An efficient planning system
  • A valued planning system

Lesley Griffiths AM, Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs said: ‘If we want a more sustainable Wales we all need to recognise the value of planning, including the economic value that it creates. I look forward to working with the RTPI to explore how we can measure and explain the value of planning, including making the case for investment in the planning service.’

Peter Lloyd, Chair of RTPI Cymru, who opened the conference, said:

‘Given the major changes occurring in the Welsh planning system, the annual conference was the perfect opportunity to understand how these changes can be implemented positively despite declining public spending and in a way that achieves our aspirations for the future of our communities. Hearing about the Government’s priorities from the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths was particularly helpful.’

A range of speakers addressed the conference, including Morag Ellis QC on Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, Keith Winter from Fife Council on how local planning authorities can deliver positive planning and RTPI’s own Vincent Goodstadt on the new city agenda.

Delegates chose their own breakout seminars delivered by speakers with expertise on a wide range of planning issues. The Conference was chaired by the RTPI’s Chief Executive Trudi Elliott.

Read more….

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Wales’ new environment minister outlines 5 ‘asks’ of planning

Nominate for the Vic Soc’s Top Ten Endangered for 2016

The Victorian Society (Vic Soc) has included an updated campaigning guide with this year’s search to encourage people to fight for the buildings they are concerned about, with nominations to close on Friday 1 July.

The Victorian Society writes:

Once again we are asking the public to nominate the Top Ten endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales for 2016. Appearing in the Top Ten focuses attention on buildings and can help save them.

All the buildings or structures nominated will be considered by the Society’s architecture and conservation experts before the 2016 list of the Top Ten Endangered Buildings in England and Wales is announced on 14 September. Nominated buildings could be threatened by demolition, neglect or inappropriate redevelopment. The only criteria are that the buildings are in England or Wales and were built between 1837 and 1914. Please share our call for nominations on social media to help us hear about as many endangered buidings as possible. An updated campaigning guide accompanies this year’s search to encourage people to fight for the buildings they are concerned about. 

To nominate a building contact the Victorian Society via email (media@victoriansociety.org.uk) or post (1 Priory Gardens, London W4 1TT) with brief details of the building(s) on or before Friday 1 July.

Read more….

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Nominate for the Vic Soc’s Top Ten Endangered for 2016

Parliamentary committee critical of government flooding oversight

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has published its report on ‘Flooding: Cooperation across Government’, criticising government for its lack of a long-term strategy to deal with flooding while urging ministers to ensure better monitoring of planning conditions for schemes in flood risk areas.

The Committee writes:

‘Nationally significant infrastructure is not currently protected to a consistent standard. Infrastructure companies should be mandated to report their target resilience level, why this target is appropriate and what progress they are making to achieve it.

While there was national policy in place to plan for future flooding events this did not always translate through to the local level. Government should, in the short term, provide more support to local authorities to enable them to adopt a plan and, in the medium term, support and encourage local authorities to develop joint local plans that properly take account of flood risk management.

In 2013/14 almost 10,000 properties were built in high flood risk areas. We are pleased to hear that Environment Agency advice on whether, or how, to build in high flood-risk areas is almost always followed. But we are concerned that this is not systematically monitored, reported or followed up through the planning system. Similarly, the number of local flood plans under the National Planning Policy Framework and flood strategies is worryingly low. We are concerned that local councils are not receiving the support they need to develop them and ensure they are fit for purpose.

Despite sustainable urban drainage systems being widely acknowledged to be an efficient way of dealing with surface water, successive governments have been reluctant to mandate them as the default option in new developments. We are disappointed that the Government has kicked this into the long grass by commissioning another review. This is an issue that now requires action.

There is currently a lack of transparency demonstrated by the Government’s unwillingness to publish the results of past reviews and to track in an open way how it has implemented them. Greater transparency will also be necessary from Government and the Environment Agency over the allocation of flood defence spending to ensure there is no actual or perceived unfairness in allocating money. It is critical that the Government undertakes its current review in an open and transparent way to allow stakeholders, including Parliament, to monitor its progress and hold it to account.’

Read the report

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Parliamentary committee critical of government flooding oversight

Share your views on sustainability for Ecobuild 2017

This question of ‘sustainability’ will be debated at a round table discussion on 22 June, chaired by Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive, UK-GBC, with industry representatives including Marks & Spencer, BRE, Institution of Civil Engineers and Construction Products Association, while you can ‘share your ‘sustainability thoughts’ now at #SustainabilityIs or at www.ecobuild.co.uk

Ecobuild writes:

In a recent survey to over 2,000 industry figures, we found that sustainability is still at the top of the industry’s agenda, despite the shift in Government priorities.  However, the drivers and definition of sustainability have evolved far beyond the original ‘green’ agenda.

We’re challenging you, the industry to define a set of common sustainability goals for the built environment and I urge everybody to unite to achieve this. With over 33,300 professionals attending Ecobuild, it’s the perfect platform for industry collaboration.

The outcomes will shape the Ecobuild 2017 conference programme, content and immersive experience at the event, culminating in an industry manifesto for sustainability to be published after the show.  

Read more….

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Share your views on sustainability for Ecobuild 2017

New interactive maps from CPRE reveals England’s light-polluted skies

The most detailed ever satellite maps of England’s dark skies released by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), providing unprecedented level of understanding into where light pollution is most invasive.

CPRE writes:

The most detailed ever satellite maps of England’s dark skies released by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Produced by consultants LUC, they enable users to search by postcode, and provide a more detailed and up-to-date analysis of England’s skies compared with the global atlas of light pollution released this week.

The interactive maps were produced with satellite images captured at 1.30 am throughout September 2015. They show that the Isles of Scilly, West Devon and Eden in Cumbria are England’s darkest districts, and that the very darkest spot in England, out of more than 2.25million pixels, is a secluded hillside on the East Kielder Moors in Northumberland.

CPRE’s interactive maps also give us an unprecedented level of understanding into where light pollution is most invasive. Nineteen of the brightest 20 skies are above London boroughs, while Manchester is the only non-London district in the top 20. As a region, London is at least nine times brighter than any other except the North West.

The very brightest spot is above a Tata Steel foundry in Rotherham, followed by the Thanet Earth greenhouse complex in Kent and the space around Wembley Stadium in London. The brightest point in the East Midlands is Leicester City’s King Power stadium, still lighting up the sky long after the games have finished.

Nationwide, the maps show that just 22% of England is untouched by light pollution, and that 53% of our darkest skies are over National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Northumberland National Park enjoys 96% pristine night skies, while the South Downs, granted Dark Sky Reserve status in May 2016, is London’s closest expanse of dark skies.

The maps also show where we can find oases of darkness in our brightest areas: Wimbledon Common and the Mayfield Lavender Fields in London; countryside to the north of Newcastle airport; and Allestree Park on the edge of Derby.This research comes at a time of increasing awareness of the harmful effects light pollution can have on the health of people and wildlife [4]. That these skies were monitored at 1.30 am illustrates just how long into the night England’s lights continue to shine.

Local councils were estimated to spend £613 million on street lighting in 2014-15, and the lights can account for between 15-30% of a council’s carbon emissions. The research shows that motorways, trunk roads and business districts are significant contributors to light pollution.

LUC generated the maps from data gathered by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States. They make it easier to identify and reduce severe light pollution, and help to identify existing dark skies that need may need protecting.

CPRE recommends that:

  • Local authorities develop policies in local plans to control light pollution, which ensure that existing dark skies are protected and that new developments do not increase local light pollution.
  • Highways England use the maps to identify sections of motorways and trunk roads that need urgent attention to reduce light pollution. Any new lighting should be well designed and the minimum required to meet its purpose
  • Businesses review their current lighting and future development plans to save money by dimming or switching off light to reduce pollution
  • Primary schools use the lesson plans that CPRE has disseminated to promote the enjoyment of dark skies

Read more….

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on New interactive maps from CPRE reveals England’s light-polluted skies

Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site valued at over £1 Billion

A new report, ‘Edinburgh World Heritage: Economic Value report’, from Edinburgh World Heritage, has found that residents, visitors and businesses attach an economic value of between £1.2 – £1.4 billion to Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh World Heritage writes:

The survey, using a Treasury-approved approach, is the first time the value of the city’s heritage has been measured in this way.

The report reveals the depth of public support for the World Heritage site. The survey found that 96% of respondents feel that the city’s heritage is beneficial, and that this support is regardless of respondents’ economic or social background. Residents, visitors and businesses all strongly support the conservation of Edinburgh’s heritage, and see the World Heritage Site as a public good and long-term legacy for future generations.

The report was designed to capture the relationships that residents, businesses and visitors have with the site, and to express this through the attribution of a monetary value. Importantly, the contingent valuation established by the research is entirely separate to the commercial activities of businesses and residents within the World Heritage Site.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage commented: ‘this pioneering report shows that the World Heritage Site is deeply valued, and that its long term maintenance should be a priority for public spending. It also demonstrates a tremendous breadth of support with visitors, residents, and businesses all seeing the benefit to the city.’

Brian Lang, Chairman of Edinburgh World Heritage said: ‘the World Heritage Site is a fundamental driver of the city’s economy, and plays a vital role in attracting over 4 million visitors every year. The research shows that this value is widely understood, with residents and businesses agreeing that investment in heritage has long-term benefits for the city.’

Cllr. Gavin Barrie, Convener of the Economy Committee, responded: ‘we are immensely proud of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It brings tremendous value to the city and its economy and this research is to be welcomed. The report spells out why millions of visitors are flooding to Edinburgh every year to enjoy the World Heritage Site. This is of great benefit as the capital is heralded as the ‘gateway’ to the rest of Scotland. Our residents also take pride in the area and businesses report great benefits to the local economy. The evidence suggests that the economic value placed on the World Heritage Site drives investors’ financial decisions.’

See ‘Edinburgh World Heritage: Economic Value report

Read more….

Posted in Sector NewsBlog | Comments Off on Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site valued at over £1 Billion