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Poll shows people care about heritage

Words: Laura Edgar
Bodiam Castle

With Historic England set to come into being in April, research suggests people in England recognise and protect nationally significant sites in their localities.

The research also found that almost everyone in England now lives within one mile of a designated heritage asset, whether it is a building, monument, battlefield or a park.

A poll of more than 5,400 adults found that 38 per cent of people have taken action to protect a local building or place from damaging change, dereliction or falling into disuse.

- 99.3 per cent live less than a mile away from a listed site or building

- 38 per cent have taken action to preserve a site

- 67 per cent of respondents say monuments and memorials are important

- 66 per cent say archaeological sites are worth preserving

- In poll of 1,750 people 47 per cent of those aged 18-24 say they are interested in their local heritage

- Poll of 5,400 people found 60 per cent of those aged 18-24 think monuments and memorials are more important than country houses and castles

- 75 per cent of people aged 45-54 believe country houses are the most valuable

And a different poll of 1,750 English people reveals that almost half of those asked (46 per cent) know if a historically significant building or place is within a mile of where they live, with 64 per cent declaring an interest in their local heritage.

Country houses and castles were found to be the most commonly valued parts of the historic environment in England, according to the survey, with 70 per cent of respondents saying they are worth preserving.

Sir Laurie Magnus, Historic England chairman, said: “These results are fascinating. They show that people care deeply about our heritage and the importance of protecting our spectacular castles, country houses, monuments, memorials and ancient archaeological sites. They are also concerned about the fate of their local heritage and increasingly recognise the importance of places of worship, parks and gardens, historic industrial sites and maritime heritage.”