Protecting and Conserving
There is absolutely no guarantee of protection - even listed buildings are not 100% safe - but we have ways of doing our best.
Raising awareness with local and national organisations is really important. They’re an excellent source of information and support, and some have their own Buildings at Risk registers.
Planning applications should comply with national and local strategies so we monitor and submit representations on those that have a negative impact on our built and natural heritage.
There are several ways of recording and recognising our built and natural heritage by statutory bodies like Braintree District Council and non-statutory like the Woodland Trust.
Braintree District Council’s Local Heritage List was set up to acknowledge the local significance of structures and places. Work has paused for a few years now and the List and map are still incomplete, but we hope this will be remedied soon.
Most people have heard of tree protection orders and conservations areas. Did you know there are such things as Protected Lanes, the Ancient Tree Inventory and Local Wildlife Sites.
Promoting and Educating
Knowing about our heritage is key to protecting it. So we research, curate, exhibit and man displays at local events. We really enjoy taking our displays to different venues, and we love to talk about Halstead’s heritage and hear other people’s stories.
We make presentations and put on talks by others too, and we hope that they’re as entertaining as they are educational.
We want as many people as possible to be involved with our heritage and use social media to engage people online. And this website will provide new ways of exploring Halstead’s heritage, so please visit again to check our news page and find out about future website developments.
In 2019, we joined forces with Halstead & District Local History Society and the Empire Theatre to take part in the National Trust’s Heritage Open Days Scheme. 2020 was going to be bigger and better with more local organisations involved – but Covid-19 got in the way. It’s still unclear whether any events will take place this year but check out our News page for updates.
Enhancing and Engaging
Some of our aims overlap with other community groups and it’s not unusual for us to join in with shared ventures. We support The Halstead River Care Team and often take part in monthly cleaning sessions. And more recently, Trustees have worked to support the River Improvement Group’s efforts to transform the River Colne along in Halstead town centre.
Set on the River Colne, the iconic Townsford Mill was the starting point for a guided walk for Heritage Open Days in 2019 which ended with an exhibition and special film screening at Halstead’s Empire Theatre. The event was organised with Halstead History Society and the Empire Theatre.