Restoration project for farm buildings in Northumberland National Park
A farmstead at Ingram in the Breamish Valley is among those being restored as part of a national pilot scheme.
Northumberland National Park is participating in the scheme that will see historic farm buildings restored back to their former glory, with an aim to support local farming, preserve important cultural heritage and maintain important heritage skills.
Delivered as part of Countryside Stewardship, over £2 million is being invested in the restoration of farm buildings built before 1940 in Northumberland National Park.
A large part of the work being undertaken is to ensure the buildings are weatherproof and watertight, using traditional materials such as lime mortar which maintain the character of the buildings, and supporting traditional construction skills including masonry, joinery and ironmongery.
Rebecca Wilson from Ingram Farm said: “We are delighted with the support that Northumberland National Park, the Rural Payments Agency, Natural England and Historic England are providing to help us restore the historic buildings on our farm.
“They are part of what makes Ingram a stunningly beautiful place to work in and to visit. They are part of our vision which put sustainability and a living, working landscape of high nature value at its heart.”
There are 21 farms in the National Park taking part in the programme, which closed to new applicants in 2018.
Each project has a wildlife consultant working with the construction team to ensure the work protects wildlife and provides space in which wildlife and nature can thrive. This includes installing bat and barn owl boxes and leaving crevices in the stonework from which wild birds can enter to nest, now they are weatherproof and watertight.
Chris Jones, historic environment officer at Northumberland National Park, said: “We are delighted to be helping farmers breathe new life into some of the National Park’s most important, yet often least appreciated, historical assets.
“The National Park has been a living, working landscape for thousands of years with a unique character and heritage – the buildings we are restoring are an integral part of our Park and this project will ensure they will continue to play their part for many more years.”