Work to help preserve and maintain historic buildings in Wisbech High Street gets underway next week when the second annual Gutter Clean event is held.
A cherry picker will spring into action on Thursday, November 22, to clear gutters and gullies of leaves and overgrown vegetation – a common cause of damage and damp in historic properties.
The service is offered to property owners and tenants completely free-of-charge as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Wisbech High Street Project, which is being delivered by Fenland District Council with support from local partners as part of the Wisbech 2020 Vision.
A great success at its debut last year, the Gutter Clean was launched in response to concerns raised by the council’s conservation officers about the amount of vegetation growing in gutters and the negative impact it was having on the condition of buildings.
Damp in historic buildings was one of the issues tackled in August when the project’s first free Conservation Workshop was held at Octavia View. Look out for news of the next workshop planned for February 2019.
Councillor David Oliver, the council’s Cabinet member for Heritage, said: “When the first Gutter Clean was held last year literally tons of soil, vegetation and waste was removed from the gutters – there was even a crop of potatoes growing above one shop!
“The cleaning of gutters, parapets and downpipes is a crucial aspect of maintenance to ensure that historic buildings are preserved and it also helps owners avoid long-term and costly problems in future. For that reason I’m delighted the Gutter Clean is taking place again, and I hope to see it return during the next two years of the High Street project too.”
The chance to go up in a cherry picker also gives council officers the opportunity to check rooftops for other signs of damage or potential problems which owners can be advised on.
The Gutter Clean is being supported by project volunteers including members of the Wisbech Society. Conservation officers from Fenland District Council will also be available on the day to address questions from building owners and offer practical advice about taking care of their buildings.