Maintain our Heritage is a group of building conservation campaigners, academics and others who first came together in 1997, having all realised how UK building conservation had become focussed on rescuing historic buildings in advance states of decay, rather than preventing them from decay through appropriate and timely maintenance.
We drew inspiration from the Dutch Monumentenwacht, which – by total contrast – has for nearly 50 years operated teams of operatives clearing out the gutters of historic buildings and doing immediate minor repairs such as replacing cracked or slipped roof tiles.
In 2002, we set up a pilot scheme in Bath, Somerset, to test whether a similar service could be provided in the UK. More information on this is on a separate page here. This concluded that there were no technical obstacles to setting up such a service here, but there were significant financial barriers.
The pilot scheme proved popular with local churches and led directly to the creation of our GutterClear scheme with the Church of England Diocese of Gloucester.
Putting it off: Research
Between 2003 and 2006, we led a collaborative research programme funded by the Department of Trade & Industry. The results are available online here and have informed our thinking ever since.
Maintain our Heritage is a not-for- profit company, limited by guarantee, registered in England number no 3983254