During the study visit to England and Scotland the partners have been introduced with the cultural heritage preservation in Great Britain, the world leading country in this field. Some of the organisations have been established in 19 century and have more than 100 years experience in the field therefore serving excellent examples in management of the cultural heritage. So partners got to know also with high quality public services of preservation of historical houses through the centuries.
The main idea of this study was to get experience in public services delivery on both issues: practical and theoretical fields. The specialists of Latvia and Lithuania gained experience from more qualified specialists in Great Britain (from the museums, SPAB, HE, etc.) as well as they also saw the examples of good practices which they would try to adapt in Latvian and Lithuanian areas. Results of the visit strengthened capacity of two institutions working in field of the preservation of cultural heritage in Lithuania and Latvia.
First we visited The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in London (https://www.spab.org.uk/). We were kindly welcomed by director Matthew Slocombe and Maggie Goodall Education and Training manager. Here we were acquainted with SPAB activities, heritage management and care. The most important that SPAB approach to building conservation combines well-proven principles with practical repair techniques. Next we visited Historic England (HE) institution (https://historicengland.org.uk/) met Duncan McCallum Strategy/Listing Director and Alexandra Warr Senior International Adviser. HE is public body that helps working with communities and specialists, share knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all. In the Weald & Downland Living Museum in Singleton, near Chichester (www.wealddown.co.uk), we were introduced by Lucy Hockley, Cultural Engagement Manager to the restoration works, exhibit depository and museum activities. This museum with his structure and sets is very similar with Open Air Museum of Lithuania, has very strong educational approach and good connection with university working with wooden architecture restoration and preservation. During the visit partners from Lithuania and Latvia acquired historical, practical and theoretical knowledge of preservation, management and care of the cultural heritage got know the examples of good practice.
We were highly impressed by Bath UNESCO World Heritage site. The Bath preservation trust (www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk/) exists to safeguard for the public benefit the historic character and amenities of the city and its environs. The Trust is striving to ensure the future success of special heritage city through conservation, education and museums. It is independent, funded by public membership, grants, donations and income from four museums that it operates in Bath. We visited two of them, Royal Crescent and the Museum of Bath Architecture, had excursion in the city. In Scotland we visited Edinburg World heritage (EWH) (https://ewh.org.uk/) and Neil Ogilvy International project Officer presented EWH activities. Mission of it is to connect people to their heritage working in the field of conservation by developing and sharing knowledge, setting standards for quality of workmanship, providing advice, promoting research and facilitating the conservation work of individuals and organisations. Very close in the neighbourhood is located SPAB Scotland where we have been met by Lucy Stewart. We were very grateful to Dr. Peter Burman who gave us a valuable lecture about theory and practice in conservation. And the last we visited Scotland`s dedicated building conservation centre based in Stirling – The Engine Shed (https://www.engineshed.scot/). Here you can find everything from advice on how to look after traditional buildings to free exhibits and exhibitions exploring Scotland’s traditional buildings. Here we communicated with Brian Wilkinson from Technical outreach and education team who told us about education and training different target groups. Our journey ended with a visit to the Royal Palace in Stirling and successful trip home.