Heritage group’s first battle will focus on preserving historic town ditches

The battle ditches in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT

The battle ditches in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A new group set up to develop Saffron Walden’s heritage was inaugurated this week.

The battle ditches in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT

The battle ditches in Saffron Walden. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

The Saffron Walden’s Heritage Development Group was the idea of Rev Canon David Tomlinson of St Mary’s Parish Church.

The group’s aim is to bring together a number of people interested in, and responsible for, areas of the town’s heritage in order to exchange information, undertake specific projects and to promote and market the area as an historic attraction to visitors.

Now established under the chairmanship of Canon Tomlinson, the group has already drawn up a list of sites to be considered for promotion, notably several for which little information is available at present.

The first scheme being undertaken by the group is to set up boards at each end of the battle ditches on the western edge of the town, the surviving section of the medieval ditch which once surrounded Saffron Walden.

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“The battle ditches project,” said Canon Tomlinson, “Is a good example of this new group working together for the benefit of the town.”

Funding is being sought to set up boards providing information on the history of the ditches and their importance as a wildlife corridor, as well as their historic importance to the town.

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Members of the group gathered at the ditches on Thursday to celebrate its inauguration and to highlight the first project members will be working on.

The heritage group includes representatives of the parish church, Saffron Walden Museum and the Museum Society, the Fry Art Gallery, Bridge End Garden, the Town Library Society, Saffron Walden Initiative, Historic England, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Tourist Information Centre, Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council.

It is also open to societies involved in aspects of the local heritage and seeks to work in co-operation with existing associations.

If your organization would like to join the Saffron Walden Heritage Development Group, contact Mark Starte on 01799 524002 or send an e-mail to tourism@saffronwalden.gov.uk.

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