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'Counting our Heritage’ A Community-led heritage at risk survey for High Peak and Staffordshire Moorlands

Front cover for Counting our heritage

By Urban Vision North Staffordshire

The project assessed the issues arising from using volunteers to survey Grade II listed buildings at risk and to identify potential heritage assets warranting protection through local listing throughout High Peak and Staffordshire. It was a partnership project carried out as part of the National Heritage Protection Plan, involving English Heritage, High Peak Borough Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Urban Vision North Staffordshire. Over 65% of the total list areas for the survey area were surveyed. The report concludes that it is feasible to use volunteers' survey results and photographs to produce a reliable Heritage At Risk survey, providing there is moderation by the project steering group and anomalies are resolved through a site visit from the Conservation Officer.

The experience of the project enabled several lessons to be derived around optimising the performance of volunteers, including the average number of list entries that a typical volunteer can be expected to survey, the need to provide more support to ensure survey records are returned in digital form, the need for photographic files to be properly labelled, and ideally more generous timescales.


1 Executive Summary
2 Project Design
   2.1 Project Name
   2.2 Summary Description
   2.3 Background
   2.4 Research Aims and Objectives
   2.5 Business Case
   2.6 Project scope
   2.7 Project Team Structure
   2.8 Communications
   2.9 Health and Safety
   2.10 Method Statement
   2.11 Project Finance and Budget
3 Project Outcome and Outputs
   3.1 The Outputs
   3.2 A completed Grade II HAR survey for High Peak (outside the National Park)
available for English Heritage, the Derbyshire HER and HPBC
   3.3 A completed Grade II HAR survey for Staffordshire Moorlands (outside the
National Park) available for English Heritage, the Staffordshire HER and SMDC
   3.4 A list of potential entries for the Local Heritage Register for High Peak and
Staffordshire Moorlands.
   3.5 Good practice guidance and lessons learnt report on the adopted process
for HAR surveys by non-professional volunteers
   3.6 Develop a new volunteer base, instilling a sense of civic pride
   3.7 Provide new opportunities for skills and training on heritage assets, raising
awareness and understanding
4 Heritage at Risk Surveys
5 Evaluation of Research Objectives
   5.1 Evaluation of Research Objective 1: What are the logistical and other issues
arising from mobilising a large non-professional resource in undertaking the
technical assessment process
   5.2 Evaluation of Research Objective 2: Is undertaking an HAR survey based
on photographic images accurate and reliable?
   5.3 Evaluation of Research Objective 3: What is the rate of decline of Buildings?
6 Volunteer Network
7 Conclusions and Lessons Learnt
Appendix 1: Project Timetable
Appendix 2: Risk Log
Appendix 3: Financial Breakdown of Estimated Project Costs
Appendix 4: Highlight Reports
Appendix 5: Changes in Risk Status in Staffordshire Moorlands

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed

If you require an alternative accessible version of this document please contact: Urban Vision North Staffordshire, Burslem School of Art, Queen Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 3EJ. Contact: Hannah Barter, Tel: 01782 790595, Email:

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