Russell Savory, Friends of Stow Maries Aerodrome for Stow Maries World War I Airfield
Shortlisted for best rescue of any other heritage site
An excerpt from the submission
- Stow Maries Aerodrome is thought to be the most intact Great War airfield within Europe. Situated in a rural area of Essex, the aerodrome reverted to farmland in 1919 and remained so until it was bought by its current owners, Mr Russell Savory and Mr Steve Wilson in 2009.
- The inaccessibility of the site has saved it from redevelopment pressures, but has led to the abandonment or minimal maintenance of many of its buildings, several of which are in a state near to partial collapse. Since its new owners took over, there has been an ongoing restoration programme to restore the airfield to its 1918 appearance. Once completed it will provide the public with a heritage site for the study of the Great War.
- Nine of the original 1918 buildings have now been restored as part of a project that will take several years to complete. The vast majority of the work has been carried out by a team of volunteers and funded privately by the owners.
- One area of the aerodrome has been set aside for conservation and heritage interpretation but other structures have attracted different uses. For example, the RSPB now have an office on site for their Farm and Bird recovery unit, Natural England are on schedule to open a field study centre and an agreement has been entered into with local developers to house both slow worms and newts here from nearby developments.
You can watch a short film about the Stow Maries Aerodrome.
The English Heritage Angel Awards are co-funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. www.andrewlloydwebberfoundation.com