How to Protect Local Heritage and Green Space

exchange building

Exchange Buildings by Clive Winward

Protect Heritage

In the UK, we are able to protect heritage in the following ways:

  • Identify & Designate Heritage via Historic England
  • Protect it through the planning system

Historic England and the Local Authority, have a statutory duty to protect the best examples of our historic environment.


AckHallCW4The Avenue of Trees by Clive Winward

Historic England are “the public body that champions and protects England’s historic places”.

One way, that we can protect heritage locally, is by applying to Historic England to designate our heritage. Designation is the term given to the practices of listing buildings, scheduling monuments, registering parks, gardens and battlefields, and protecting wreck sites. These are collectively known as designated assets. Designation allows us to highlight what is significant about an asset and help to make sure that any future changes made to it do not result in the loss of its significance.

If you would like to know more about how to list, schedule or register a site, please look at the links taken from shown below:

Historic England What is Designation & Listing

Historic England How to List a Building or Site

Historic England Advice on Neighbourhood Plans

Historic England Advice on Planning

However, the final decision is made by centralised government and recommendations (which are based on national significance) are passed to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

rest park4

Occasionally, heritage of significance to local people, may not be regarded as worthy of designation (e.g. The William Henry Thomas Memorial, Whinney Banks Rest Garden) or meet the criteria set out by Historic England (The Avenue of Trees). In some cases, as with the medieval moated site at Acklam Hall, despite being regarded as of National Importance (following a site inspection by Historic England), pre-existing planning permission meant that it could not be scheduled as a monument.

With this in mind, how do we take responsibility for supporting and protecting our heritage?

  • Join local history groups societies, or organisations
  • Use our public Listed Buildings
  • Get involved with local events celebrating heritage
  • Inform Historic England of Heritage at Risk
  • Apply Historic England to List or Schedule Heritage assets
  • Take an interest in how the town is developing
  • Check Middlesbrough Council website (Search & Track)

LHEN (Local Heritage Engagement Network) support local groups interested in their historic environment to protect and advocate for their local archaeology, history and heritage, through the provision of practical advice, platforms for discussion and information-sharing, assistance and training. They offer a variety of helpful toolkits, guides and information. Please click on the link for further information: LHEN Toolkit to protect local heritage 

If Localism is to work in practice, then the Local Authority needs to:

  • Effectively consult about planning applications which put heritage or green space at risk
  • Engage the community in the planning process (including young people and hard-to-reach groups)
  • Encourage residents to identify heritage and green space of importance
  • Give advice and support with developing neighbourhood plans
  • Ensure that town planning is driven by community involvement

Green Space (The Open Space Society)

The Open Spaces Society helps members protect their local common land, town and village greens, open spaces and public paths. They act as an advisor for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and National Assembly for Wales on applications for works on common land, and are notified by local authorities whenever there is a proposal to alter the route of a public right of way. We campaign for changes in legislation to protect paths and spaces.

How do we Support our green space locally?

  • Join local conservation groups, societies or organisations
  • Use our green spaces
  • Support activities and events on local green space
  • Join a “Friends” Group
  • Set up a “Friends” group
  • Apply to Historic England to Designate Local Green Space
  • Take an interest in how the town is developing
  • Check Middlesbrough Council website (Search & Track)

OSS Designation of Local Green Space

OSS Neighbourhood Plans

OSS Community Asset & Protecting Open Spaces

“Friends groups”

There are a number of Friends groups in Middlesbrough:

Friends of Blue Bell Beck

Boro Becks

Friends of Fairy Dell

Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery & Nature Reserve

Friends of Nature’s World

Friends of Stainton & Thornton Green Spaces

Friends of Stewart Park

Friends of Sudbury Pond

Friends of Thorntree Park

Friends groups are always looking for volunteers to help maintain some of our most beautiful green spaces. To get involved you can follow link from Middlesbrough Council Website and register Middlesbrough Council Volunteer

Local Heritage Groups, Societies & Organisations

Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society

Teesside Archaeological Society

Tees Archaeology

Other Useful Links

Council for British Archaeology

Heritage Help Heritage Organisation A-Z

Middlesbrough Borough Council Consultation Portal

Middlesbrough Borough Council Search & Track

Middlesbrough Borough Council Freedom of Information

River Tees Rediscovered

Tees Valley Wild Green Spaces

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust


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