Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 11:11 UK

One-fifth of monuments 'at risk'

Gunnersbury Park. Photos by Boris Baggs, copyright English Heritage
Gunnersbury Park in West London is one of the sites on the new list

More than one in five of England's archaeological sites and monuments are at risk, according to English Heritage.

The organisation says the threats include natural processes and man-made dangers like development and vandals.

English Heritage has compiled an at-risk register covering England's 20,000 scheduled ancient monuments, which includes archaeological sites

It hopes publication will spur local authorities and the public to take action before it is too late.

Threatened

English Heritage chairman Lord Bruce-Lockhart said: "The results of this first report show that everybody must live near, walk past or know of a heritage treasure at risk near them."

The organisation wants local authorities to be more aware of their responsibilities to conserve threatened listed buildings, and is offering funds to help compel owners to repair and refurbish them.

These are places, buildings and landscapes that have the potential to shape the quality and even the course of our lives
Dr Simon Thurley
English Heritage chief executive

It also wants the public to get more involved with conservation by joining amenity societies and residents' groups.

English Heritage is keen to stress that the challenge to conserve now extends not only to listed buildings and monuments, but also to historic landscapes, parks and even protected wreck sites off the English coast.

Chief Executive Dr Simon Thurley said: "These are places, buildings and landscapes that have the potential to shape the quality and even the course of our lives.

"Yet their future is uncertain."


SEE ALSO
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10 May 08 |  England

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