Thursday, 24 July 2008

National Parks Week

The sun is shining and if you need any greater excuse to go and explore the Great British outdoors, next week is 'National Parks Week' (28 July - 3 August). 

There are 14 National Parks in the UK (one of which is the Peak District which became Britain's first national park in 1951). These 14 parks form part of a global network of 6,555 protected areas covering 12% of the earth's surface. That's quite a stat isn't it?!

According to the organisers, National Parks Week aims to reconnect people to the beautiful open spaces around us particularly highlighting local food and farming. To help us make this connection, lots of events have been organised and you can even 'eat your way around' the 14 parks with this collection of local recipes. 

For more information, have a look at the National Parks website.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Neglect and decay threaten Britain's heritage sites

This week, English Heritage has raised the alarm on the thousands of historical sites which are at high risk from decay and neglect. Of the 70,000 heritage sites assessed so far, they say that one in twelve are threatened - that's well over 5,000 listed buildings, ancient monuments, battlefields, gardens and landscapes which face an uncertain future.

Thanks to protective legislation, demolition is no longer an option, but as Times columnist Richard Morrison points out, listed buildings which have been abandoned because they're no longer 'fit for purpose' are now deliberately left to decay in the hope that someone else will pick up the restoration bill.

You can read more about this here or go to the Heritage at Risk section of the English Heritage website to find out what can be done to ensure our heritage is preserved for future generations.