3. Transforming the Landscape (TL)

TL04 Stop! The Military Heritage of the Trent Valley

Preserving the built heritage of the WWII Stop Line.

Project Summary

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.

Project Lead

Dr Mark Knight
Cultural Heritage Officer Transforming the Trent Valley


Stop! The Military Heritage of the Trent Valley Blog

© Copyright Owner

The pillboxes of Stop Line No. 5

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 […]

© Copyright Owner

Bat Success!

As many of you will know, the TTTV team has been repurposing WWII pillboxes for wildlife across the project area; in particular, we have been converting a number of them for bat hibernacula (where bats can hibernate through the winter), or for swallow or other wild bird nesting sites.  With help from our team and […]

© Copyright Owner

Linking With the Past

How do I do this? It’s a question I often ask myself. Whether it’s cooking a new recipe or fixing a bookcase, I start with the same question. How do I do this? If it is something I already know about, the answer can be easy, straightforward even. A year of fixing furniture, fences and […]

© Copyright Owner

A Home Front Mystery

They’re not in the books. I can’t find anything about them on the internet. No-one who should know, appears to know. It’s eighty-one years old, weighs tons (I mean literally weighs tons) and is bullet proof. Say hello to the “Type-Unknown” Pillbox. You see, I’m a pillbox nerd. Since being taken into an air raid […]

Stop! The Military Heritage of the Trent Valley Projects

Future Projects

Legacy projects

Following the success of our work to date we are exploring funding opportunities to deliver more conservation and engagement tasks in the Trent Valley

Current Projects
Completed Projects

Pillbox surveys

Over 90 pillboxes or other military heritage assets have been surveyed and their condition assessed.

Pillbox conversions

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

Landowner engagement

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.