Cannock Chase AONB Historic Environment Task & Finish Group

Cannock Chase AONB Historic Environment Task & Finish Group

Cannock Chase AONB – Historic Environment Task & Finish Group

Notes from the inaugural meeting held 19th December 2016, County Buildings, Stafford


Stephen Dean (SCC), Simon Siddle (CCDC), Janine Young (National Trust), Trevor Warburton (FCC), Ian George (HE), Anne Walker (AONB), Len Bates (SSDC / AONB JC), Matthew Blake (SCC), Anne Andrews (T&IPC), Steve Hopkins (BT), Suzy Blake (SCC), Richard Hinton (Heritage Group), Chris Copp (SCC), Sarah Bentley (SCC / AONB OWG)


Susan Dalloe (Museum of CC) and Andy Coggins (FC)

Key points and actions:

  • Terms of reference – all agreed the terms of reference for the group
  • Membership – all agreed that the Staffordshire Gardens and Parks Trust should be invited onto the group as a number of AONB management plan actions relate to management and protection of parklands. Noted that Anne Andrews was representing parish councils; Anne agreed to feedback to the others.District Councils were not all represented but could be invited as required and all would be kept in touch via the OWG.
  • Chairperson – agreed to defer to next meeting. ACTION – all to consider becoming group chairperson and contact SB to put themselves forward. Group to elect chairperson at next meeting.
  • AONB Management Plan actions: the group discussed the actions in the plan, including what was underway, gaps, and actions required. The table below summarises the discussion and gives a red-amber-green rating against progress.

Action / Progress / Action required
LA16 Encourage the preparation and implementation of management plans for parkland, through demonstrating the impact of planning and delivery in the Shugborough plans / IN PROGRESS
Parkland management plan in place for Shugborough; site now managed by National Trust. /
  • Explore opportunities for demonstration events re parkland management (JY)
  • Explore potential to repeat veteran tree survey at Shugborough by AONB volunteers as part of State of AONB monitoring (AW / JY)

LA17 Support the management of parklands appropriate to their character and siting
LA18 Resist the loss of parkland area / ACTION REQUIRED
Suzy Blake had identified some baseline info on parkland areas in the AONB as a starting point (attached).
Noted that sites outside AONB boundary but which contribute to setting of AONB should be included.
Some sites were likely to be in management via Countryside Stewardship etc.
AA had information about Tixall including re remnants of an old bridge. It was noted that this fell within Shigborough but was thought that the abutments had not been located in a previous survey.
There were a number of possible mechanisms to help protect sites, e.g. via Conservation Area appraisals, TPOs, informing planning responses. /
  • AA and JY to liaise to ensure location of bridge abutments recorded in Shugborough management info.
  • SCC HE team to undertake aerial photo analysis of sites to get a sense of land use and survival of parklands.
  • HEA includes recommendations for parklands – specific actions to be reviewed after mapping / AP analysis work undertaken.
  • HEA to be used by AONB team to inform planning responses.
  • Documentary research group to explore influence of estates - MB (already underway)
  • Lidar survey data may be of use in identifying surviving features – SD to explore with HE.
  • Explore opportunities for funding via HS2

LA19 Undertake data collection (to include Lidar if possible) to inform and produce a Historic Environment Assessment of the AONB landscape. / IN PROGRESS
HEA complete
Lidar survey complete via Chase Through Time HLF project – elements of ground trothing to be undertaken; volunteers being trained to undertake detailed survey; Lidar data being made available for people to use. /
  • Ensure HEA available on website (SB) with link from AONB website (AW)

LA20 Prepare a Historic Environment Management Plan (HEMP) to include research, management and education / interpretation objectives for the next five and ten year cycles.
LA21 Deliver research and investigation priorities identified in the HEMP / IN PROGRESS – FURTHER ACTION REQUIRED
Management recommendations made in the HEA and will be developed into HEMP when outcomes of Lidar are available. NB. This group will have a key role in developing and delivering the HEMP
Education / research / interpretation – Chase Through Time project has established a link to Keele University who are working with SCC Archives to run a documentary research programme; the AONB interpretation strategy identifies historic environment as a key theme and identifies actions; need to link to visitor management group; numerous leaflets and trails exist; chase Through Time developing mobile app.
Group felt education / interpretation was a key action area and should be explored further. /
  • Future action to develop HEMP as part of AONB management plan review, informed by Lidar.
  • Circulate visitor management strategy and interpretation strategy to group
  • Develop education / interpretation as theme at next meeting – workshop session

LA22 Develop and deliver project ideas to support the commemoration of the Great War in the context of the AONB’s role in preserving and protecting its history / IN PROGRESS
Friends of Cannock Chase Project underway – trained volunteers manning the Great War hut; bus tours; guided walks; research into who was at the camps; memories days; NZRB; leaflet and interpretation including banners.
Chase Through Time HLF project underway – soldier story being developed with Friends and developed into mobile app; event planned for June 2017 linked to Messines and with focus on training – 24/25 June.
AA – just completed HLF project and publishing book on WW1 Tixall and Ingestre; records of memories and newspaper articles.
Potential further action linked to HE campaign to promote listing of war memorials /
  • IG to send AW info on WW1 memorials listing promotion – AW to circ. to parish councils.

LA23Identify, develop and deliver targeted projects to conserve heritage assets at Beaudesert / ACTION REQUIRED
Key assets are remains of hall which are in a precarious state. Trust developed an HLF bid for funds to stabilise the hall (£250k) and funds for outreach work (£150K) however this was not submitted on advise of HLF as it was unlikely to be successful. A cash contribution was required and better justification of need for outreach work. Trust developing outreach strategy. /
  • Explore linking outreach strategy to wider AONB work to develop integrated approach which could form basis of future bid.

LA24 Identify, develop and deliver conservation projects at Castle Ring / IN PROGRESS
Management plan for site in place and being delivered.
Will be reviewing interpretation on site.
Have green heritage award – unclear whether this will be continued.
Ongoing management with volunteers.
Key issue is damage to ramparts from mountain bikers. /
  • Consider interpretation as part of wider discussion at next meeting
  • Consider management approaches to tackle bike damage – link to visitor management.

Next steps:

  • Circulate dates for next meeting end February.
  • Key actions from above to undertake aerial photo analysis of parklands to inform discussion, plus circulate interpretation strategy.
  • Focus for next meeting:
  • Update on Lidar and Great War projects
  • Parklands – discussion of potential actions / approach required
  • Workshop session on education / interpretation using AONB interpretation strategy as starting point.