December 9 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 27, 2013
CPRE Norfolk is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a series of guided tours intended to showcase the county’s finest landscape, restoration, education and architecture projects.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was founded in London in 1926 and became a national body of recognised influence. County branches soon started to appear and on November 29, 1933, the Norfolk branch was established.
In the 1930s, the branch worked on problems with advertising hoardings, litter, the disappearance of hedgerows in rural areas, and the abandonment of old cottages and barns.
After the war, the branch actively supported rural housing schemes such as the Blakeney Neighbourhood Housing Society, as well as campaigning to establish the Broads as a national park
In the 1970s, CPRE Norfolk was renamed the Norfolk Society. At around this time, the awards scheme was born, to give recognition to significant small-scale achievements in the field of conservation and environmental architecture.
During the 1980s, the branch campaigned for the Broads Bill and for the protection of Halvergate Marshes.
In 2000, the branch changed back to its original name: CPRE Norfolk. During this decade the branch organised Norfolk’s first conference for planning professionals on light pollution and led a campaign to reduce litter, as part of a national campaign headed by the then CPRE president Bill Bryson.
The branch remains active in monitoring planning issues in the county and its current work include opposition to the NDR, and calls for a reduction in the housing targets proposed under the Greater Norwich Development Partnership, as well as a campaign to protect maintenance of public rights of way.
The six projects chosen to take part have all won CPRE Norfolk Awards in the past for significant achievements in buildings and landscapes.
They range from a lowland heath community conservation project in mid Norfolk to the building of an innovative straw bale and cob house at Fleggburgh near Great Yarmouth.
Families on the CPRE tours will also have the chance to walk round and learn about historic warren sites in the Brecks, meet volunteers behind a heathland conservation project and visit three striking homes – a meticulously restored timber-frame farmhouse and two creative conversions of old farm buildings.
The tours, which are free but have to be booked, are being supported by the Awards for All Lottery Fund; they will take place between October 19 and November 9.
CPRE chairman James Parry said: “By showcasing some of the county’s exceptional landscape, restoration, education and architecture projects, we intend to share good practice and knowledge to a wider audience.
“We want to inspire people to take forward projects in their own communities while at the same time providing a good reason for getting out into the countryside.”
Kate Edwards and Charlotte Eve are proud to have built their home on idyllic Fleggburgh Common out of a mix of sandy subsoil and clay with straw bales – and are keen to tell everyone about the ancient craft of cob building.
Their passion has become a career with the couple hosting cob building courses and entertaining students from as far afield as Canada, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Visitors on the tour will hear about how to build cob fireplaces, cob stairs and clay plastered walls while enjoying a unique property in a beautiful setting.
The 600-year history of rabbit farming in the Brecks was researched from 2008 to 2010 in a Breckland Society project involving 60 volunteers.
In tours starting at the Forestry Commission’s High Lodge Forest Centre near Thetford, project manager Anne Mason will talk about the findings and lead a short walk to view warren banks.
Visitors will also have the chance to view a warren lodge where rabbit hunters, who caught the farmed animals for food and fur, were quartered in a secure environment protected from gangs of poachers.
At Litcham Common, in mid Norfolk, visitors will be able to meet and question members of a conservation group who have nurtured an important area of lowland heathland which was in danger of being lost as self-seeded trees threatened to turn it into woodland.
The volunteers meet regularly to clear scrub and trees, helped by four Dartmoor ponies and hinny.
On November 2, the tour will include a “fungus foray” led by local expert Dr Tony Leech.
A tour of Manor Farmhouse, in Denver, will show visitors how the owners carefully restored a 15th century timber-frame building that had previously been on Norfolk’s buildings at risk register.
The project, guided by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings principles, has retained original floors and plaster and demonstrated how it is possible to live in a modern way in an ancient house. A tour of Moor Hall Farm, Briston, will look at how a farmhouse and derelict farm buildings have been transformed into a family home and holiday let with a music and drama rehearsal space, workshops and a new walled garden.
Meanwhile, the owners of Old Hall Barn, Great Ellingham, will show visitors how they converted a steel and concrete barn into a light and airy home.
The house, completed in six months on a limited budget, has been featured in House and Garden magazine.