HES reports on ongoing conservation works at its sites

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has reported on its inspection programme, to help prioritise conservation requirements nationwide for heritage in Scotland’s changing climate.

image for illustration: by Fiona Newton

… Our climate is changing….bringing new challenges for the conservation of these landmarks…

HES writes:

In April 2022, we announced that we had started our nationwide programme to inspect around 70 of the historic properties we care for. Our specialist teams have been out and about at the affected sites all over Scotland, surveying the high areas of these monuments and checking the stonework by hand.

By spring 2024, we have been able to reopen or increase access at over 50 sites involved in this programme. Now, over 90% of the sites we care for around our estate have visitor access.

The background

We care for over 300 historic properties across Scotland, each with their own unique characteristics and distinct set of conservation needs and pressures.

Our climate is changing, and with it bringing new challenges for the conservation of these landmarks we hold dear. We’ve seen an increase in deterioration of stonework and falling masonry at some of our sites, presenting potential risks for our visitors, staff, and the sites themselves.

While climate change isn’t the only reason for this, it has been a key factor in reassessing how we manage our properties. That’s why we’ve taken the proactive step to address this accelerated decay and manage the consequences of deterioration.

To do this, we’ve had to put safety restrictions in place at affected sites and limit visitor access. The restrictions that are in place our sites are precautionary in nature. They’re in place for the safety of our staff and visitors while we establish the condition of the sites.

Inspections are progressing well and on schedule. Some sites that we have inspected have needed relatively little work to make them accessible again, however, others will require a lot more work before we can restore access….

Inspections explained

Take a look behind the scenes at the biggest challenge facing Scotland’s historic buildings

Find out more

Read more….

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