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Building Skills

Building Skills

Lead Partner

New Forest National Park Authority

What is it about?

Over time the special character of the historic buildings within the New Forest is being irretrievably lost by the use of inappropriate materials and methods of repair.

The National Park Authority are delivering subsidised courses for agents, builders and homeowners about the importance of traditional buildings to the area’s character, and equipping them with skills in specialist repair techniques through both practical and technical training events. These courses will help conserve and enhance the wealth of individual characteristics that contribute to the local distinctiveness of the settlements within the Forest as they raise awareness and encourage sensitive repair and management.

The main outcomes of the courses will be:

  • Increasing the number of builders/agents/architects with specialist skills needed to work with historic buildings
  • Increasing the understanding of people who own traditional buildings
  • Preserving the character of conservation areas and repairing buildings more sympathetically in the future with appropriate materials, resulting in heritage that is better managed and in better condition
  • Holding a building skills fair in 2020.

A programme of practical training courses has been developed:

  • Home owner courses: day courses aimed at the owners and guardians of historic homes situated in the Forest, covering houses ranging in date from Medieval to Edwardian
  • Builders and agents courses: a series of in-depth courses aimed at builders and professional agents who are involved in the care and repair of historic buildings situated in the Forest.

During the first two years over 300 people have attended courses and more will be invited during 2019.

Visit the training page for information on specific courses within the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.


It is hoped that the building skills fair will continue post-scheme and be self-sustaining with minimal administrative support.

Contact details

Richard Austin, Volunteer, Training and Mentoring Co-ordinator, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646661 email: 


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