H&L have continued their long working relationship with the Countryside Team at South Somerset District Council (SSDC) by help to develop a major National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project at Ham Hill Country Park, near Yeovil, Somerset. www.visitsouthsomerset.com/ham-hill
Ham Hill Country Park has a rich history dating back to the Stone Age, when man first settled on the hill over 5,000 years ago. In 1975 it was established as a country park and has since grown to 173 hectares, with limited visitor facilities despite an estimated 300,000 visitors a year. The Country Park is popular with local people who enjoy its fantastic views, hidden places and variety of landscape and wildlife. With its amazing heritage value, the site is a Scheduled Monument and Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Due to various pressures the Scheduled Monument has been designated ‘at risk’ by Historic England since 2019.
H&L worked on the Development stage application in 2018 and 2019, achieving a pass and the release of development funding in March 2020. Then the Covid19 pandemic was upon us, despite this the project continued with Martin Cooke helping the client to develop leading to a Heritage Fund delivery stage application in August 2022. Martin also played a major role in producing the planning and scheduled monument consent applications.
In December 2022 SSDC announced the award of £1.6 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The £2.4 million project will seek to conserve and protect the wealth of archaeology at this Iron Age hillfort, improve biodiversity and habitat management, provide better visitor facilities (including a new visitor centre) and engage visitors and local communities with the heritage, geological, cultural and wildlife importance of Ham Hill.
H&L continue to assist the Countryside Team in the implementation of the project.