Volunteers wanted to help protect historical buildings across Broadland

The scheme would ask for volunteers to help protect historical buildings, like Hemblington church

The scheme would ask for volunteers to help protect historical buildings, like Hemblington church - Credit: Norwich diocese

A new scheme is aiming to recruit volunteers to help protect historical buildings in villages across Broadland.

The Heritage Ranger project asks individuals to act as a first point of contact for any issues around local conservation.

Broadland District Council is behind the proposed scheme and is currently seeking feedback from town and parish councils.

The local authority said the project was still in its early stages, but could be funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) if it went ahead.

Vincent Tapp, chairman of Salhouse Parish Council, near Norwich, said the scheme was important at a time when so many villages were growing in size.

'With a lot of new building going on across the country, it is important we recognise and preserve our built heritage,' he added. 'Salhouse is very protective of its conservation areas and as a result of that they have managed to preserve the integrity of several streets.'

Mr Tapp said there was already a 'keeness' within the village for the proposed scheme, but he added the council was yet to make any decision.

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The local authority already has two historic environment officers who focus on conservation matters in the district.

But a council spokesman said the ranger project would act as an extra way for people to find out about conservation matters in their area.

Training would be provided by the council to any volunteers wishing to get involved.

The spokesman added: 'If the council receives positive feedback from the parish and town councils, Broadland's officers intend to apply for Heritage Lottery Funding.

'The main application to the HLF would be submitted in the spring and the project could be underway well into next year.'

The spokesman said the initiative would operate in a similar way to the tree warden scheme, which asks for volunteers to gather information about their local trees.

Is is hoped that the rangers would also get involved with other projects such as Heritage Open Days.

'One of the first aspects of the Heritage Ranger role could be to compile a list of buildings in their area which are considered important by local people,' the spokesman said.

Are you looking to launch a community project? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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