The condition of listed buildings in the North York Moors National Park is to come under a pioneering high-tech spotlight scheme thanks to a £20,000 grant being given by English Heritage.
A spokeswoman for the park authority said the money is to be used to run a pilot survey of grade 1 listed buildings in the vast moorland area
The authority’s inspection is one of 19 pilot schemes across the country which form part of English Heritage’s bid to find a model methodolgy for grade 2 historic buildings, she said.
“The authority is the only participating organisation to have developed software to assist with the survey work. ExeGesis, who developed a similar survey app for Coast Alive!, has been commissioned to develop an application that can be used on a tablet to complete condition surveys and photographs of the park’s listed buildings.”
Twelve volunteers have been trained to use the app and will be surveying landmark buildings at Danby, Guisborough, Bilsdale, Old Byland, Scawton, Thornton-le-Dale, Lythe, Egton and Hinderwell.
Added the spokeswoman: “Completed surveys can be uploaded directly onto a database, removing the need for a second round of manual data entry which has previously made survey work onerous and time consuming.”
The park has more than 3,000 listed buildings. It has successfully targetted 150 which have been saved after being put on a register of buildings deemed to be at risk. However, said the spokeswoman, a further 63 remain to be saved.
One of the latest schemes to benefit from restoration through the park authority is an ancient listed bridge over a turfed ditch, known as a ‘ha-ha’ at The Hall, Thornton-le-Dale, while a farm at Farndale received £5,000 to restore a cedar-shingle roof.
The spokeswoman said: “Buildings tend to be well maintained as long as they have a viable use. Many on the risk register are redundant, or are under-used. often traditional farm buildings, deconsecrated churches or gateways.”