Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc), the international provider of training and infrastructure solutions, has been recognised in the Heritage Projects category of the prestigious Ministry of Defence (MOD) Sanctuary awards for its restoration work on Scraesdon Fort in South East Cornwall. The award was made at a ceremony today in MOD Main Building in Whitehall, London.
The Sanctuary Awards aim to recognise and encourage initiatives that benefit wildlife, archaeology, environmental improvement or community awareness of conservation on MOD property. Considered to be one of the most complete examples of its type in the country, this Grade II listed building, which is also an Ancient Scheduled Monument, was originally built in Victorian times to protect Plymouth Sound from enemy naval attack. The Fort was later used to train troops before deployment in the First and Second World Wars and in recent years has become increasingly important for modern warfare training.
Landmarc, working in collaboration with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) – the MOD’s property and services provider – undertook a six-month project to restore Scraesdon Fort to its former glory, with the ultimate aim of helping to remove it from the Heritage at Risk register, whilst improving the safe use of the site for both military and civilian users.
Work included the removal of trees and vegetation within the dry moat which, as well as affecting drainage, was also threatening the fabric of the Fort walls. In addition to this, the access bridge to the Fort had become corroded and was not safe for vehicle or pedestrian access. A second project was therefore commissioned to restore the bridge as sympathetically as possible.
Tom Theed, Landmarc’s Supervising Officer for the project said: “Receiving this Sanctuary award means a lot to Landmarc as this was an extremely important conservation project for all involved. The scale and importance of what had to be done was vast and presented many technical and logistical challenges.
“The team gave careful consideration to the risks likely to be encountered and mitigated these by undertaking detailed surveys before the work commenced, which involved a great deal of consultation with stakeholders and specialists.
“Now work is complete, users can fully appreciate the structure as it was intended to look when it was first built. Working in partnership with DIO and English Heritage was crucial to the success of the project, and it’s by combining this expertise that we were able to preserve a significant historical monument for future generations to enjoy, as well as securing its use as a valuable and complex training feature for the MOD.”
Julia Powell, Chair of the MOD Sanctuary Award Board, said: “We were extremely impressed by the project’s achievement in restoring and preserving this historical building whilst securing its future as a valuable training feature. The project team was able to overcome many challenges to achieve lasting results as well as ensuring the value of investment was fully utilised, whilst taking into consideration the sensitivity of the works needed.”