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New programme for RAF Culmhead

( Last Updated: 13-07-2015 )

The important historic remains of RAF Culmhead at Trickey Warren are to be better managed and recorded thanks to a new Heritage Environment Programme on the site. Local archaeological consultant Hazel Riley has been appointed to carry out the first part of the programme, which was agreed with the landowners and Anesco Ltd as a condition of recent planning permission for the extension to the solar array. The work is being managed by a partnership of Historic England, the Blackdown Hills Trust and the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team.

The aim of the Heritage Environment Programme is to ensure that we have a good understanding of this important site by collating existing surveys, historic documents and records. There will also be a condition survey of the surviving structures to inform suggestions for their future management. 

The site is privately owned with limited public access, so Hazel will also be putting together an education package to help more people understand the site's wartime history. There may be an opportunity for a keen local volunteer to assist Hazel with researching local sources and national archives in the lead up to a public event in Spring 2016.

The airfield contains three areas that are Scheduled Monuments, which include 15 structures designated as nationally important, together with many more surviving heritage assets believed to be of regional significance.  Maintaining such structures, many of which were originally meant to be temporary, can be difficult and costly but it is hoped that the Heritage Environment Programme will provide information for the owners and tenants to help improve their management. Other structures may be identified for use as a wildlife habitats, including providing roosts for bats and owls. Historic England will also be working with Anesco Ltd and the land owners to ensure that the structures are cleared of damaging vegetation, with  scrub clearance likely to begin in the Autumn.

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