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Rural Heritage



It is easy to forget that the familiar and seemingly ancient Humber and Wolds patchwork landscape of large regular fields is in reality little more than 250 years old. Beneath and within this relatively new landscape lies a wealth of evidence for human activity spanning more than 12,000 years.

After the last ice-age around 10,000BC the area was home to Mesolithic hunter gathers. The complex Neolithic and Bronze Age ritual landscapes, centred on the massive standing stone at Rudston, are comparable to those at Stonehenge. Evidence of prehistoric land divisions can be seen across the Wolds. Iron Age and Romano-British farming settlements line the Great Wold Valley. The earthwork remains of abandoned medieval villages can be seen in most parishes. The area has some of the finest churches, stately homes and pioneering farmsteads of the agricultural revolution. In short the LEADER area has one of the richest rural heritage resources in Britain.  

Download Rural Heritage Work Plan 2011

Rudston Monolith
Rudston Monolith

Rural heritage under threat

Rural heritage has taken something of a battering in the last 70 years with the intensification and mechanisation of the farming industry, development and now climate change. Research by English Heritage has shown that our irreplaceable rural heritage resource is eroding as rapidly as our coastline. The most recent English Heritage At Risk Survey has shown that a high percentage of the nationally important designated buildings and monuments within the region are in serious decline and can be classified as at risk.

2010 Heritage at Risk Register - English Heritage

Last surviving 17th Century cruck frame building in East Riding
Last surviving 17th Century cruck frame building in East Riding

Heritage Open Days are great events happening in September - a chance to actually visit some of our wonderful hidden heritage places, buildings and monuments......,

HODs 2012 Front Page
HODs 2012 Front Page
Heritage Open Day Leaflet Sept 2011
Heritage Open Days 2011

LEADER Fast Track Grant Scheme

With the support of English Heritage the LEADER Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways Fast Track Grant Scheme is designed to help rural communities and organisations deliver projects within the LEADER area that contribute to the sustainable conservation, management and promotion of rural heritage.

Projects could include supporting the restoration of historic buildings, the conservation of archaeological monuments, village history’s, heritage trails, community archaeology projects, heritage interpretation, education, engagement and events, developing community heritage skills and improving access to rural heritage.

The Scheme is a straightforward way for you to develop and deliver heritage projects with a no-nonsense application process. Grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available for projects within the LEADER area of up to £20,000 in value. The Rural Programmes Team can provide detailed heritage and project development advice. If you have an existing project, an idea for a new project, or would welcome advice on developing heritage projects within your community please contact the Rural Programmes Team, or fill in a Fast Track Grant Scheme Expression of Interest Form (see bottom of page).

Wolds Landscape
Wolds Landscape

Rural Heritage ‘Your Community Your Heritage’ Workshops

LEADER are also looking for community organisations to host a series of bespoke ‘Your Community Your Heritage’ workshops which could help explore the potential for a rural heritage projects in your community. The workshops will be run by our Rural Communities Heritage Co-ordinator, explore what your heritage means to your community, the threats to the rural heritage in your community, and considers ways in which your community could support its conservation and long-term sustainable preservation.

Community Guided Walk
Community Guided Walk

Heritage Advice

Specific heritage advice and support is available from the LEADER Rural Communities Heritage Co-ordinator. Who can provide a wide rang of professional heritage advice to support both Fast Track Grant Scheme projects, or other community heritage initiatives.

Recreation of Battle
Recreation of Battle

Contact details

Please contact us at if you have an existing project that needs additional support, a project you have been developing, just an idea for a project, or want help developing ideas for a rural heritage project in your community. Alternatively complete and return an Expression of Interest Form below.

Fast Track Grant Scheme Expression of Interest Form

Fast Track Grant Scheme flyer