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Through this project, we are focusing on the surviving military heritage within the Trent Valley landscape, mainly comprising pillboxes, which formed part of the iconic Second World War ‘Stop Line’.
Local volunteers are carrying out recording and condition surveys of these structures, which will be utilised to develop proposals for their long term monitoring and management. To compliment this work volunteers are carrying out research, conducting oral history surveys, and helping develop content for interpretation.
A number of appropriate sites have been identified for reversible reuse such as wildlife refuges, bird hides, and interpretation spaces. A selection of these sites will be converted and design guidance will be produced to inform future conversions within the project area and elsewhere.
The Stop! project will have shown that, when done sensitively and when properly considered, military heritage assets such as pillboxes can be provided with a new purpose such as bat roosts, bird hides etc. which can ensure their longevity and upkeep.
Local communities, local groups and landowners will have taken responsibility for and engaged with their heritage. Through training the project will provide them with the skills to understand, record, monitor, manage and maintain heritage assets within the landscape partnership scheme area.
Dr Mark KnightCultural Heritage Officer Transforming the Trent Valley
Figure 1. Type 24 pillbox on the River Tame. Photo credit: Jenny France 2023 In June 1940 the British Expeditionary Force evacuated from Dunkirk and the threat of a German invasion of Britain seemed imminent. To counter this threat, the War Office devised a series of Stop Lines, ‘hardened field defences’ that were intended to […]
Following the success of our work to date we are exploring funding opportunities to deliver more conservation and engagement tasks in the Trent Valley
Over 90 pillboxes or other military heritage assets have been surveyed and their condition assessed.
5 pillboxes have been converted along the River Trent for bat hibernacula and bird roosts with support by Hanson UK
A further 10 have been converted for birds, bats and interpretation across the Trent Valley
We have worked with a large number of landowners, engaging them at different levels in the project from providing advice through to converting their pillbox assets to help preserve these non-designated monuments into the future.
Pillbox Design Guide
Our learning from the pillbox conversions and ongoing monitoring mean we have developed guidance on how future conversions should be carried out for the benefit of wildlife.
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