A new two-year project focussing on the market gardening heritage in the Vale of Evesham has just been awarded £68,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £5,000 from Historic England.
The project is being run by Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service (WAAS), in partnership with Cleeve Prior Heritage Trust, Vale Landscape Heritage Trust, Worcestershire Farmsteads Project and Cleeve Prior Parish Council.
Market gardening shaped the local landscape and economy around Evesham from the 19th to mid-20th century but much of this heritage and knowledge has since been lost.
Every market gardener built themselves a shed at the end of their allotment. Locally known as hovels, these since neglected historic buildings will be the focus of the project.
Thanks to National Lottery players, alongside public events and the production of educational materials a survey will be carried out to record surviving hovels and three will be physically restored. Few records exist about these once common buildings and it is currently not known how many survive.
The Market Gardening Heritage project is seeking volunteers to help carry out the hovels survey during the next two winters, whilst vegetation is low.
Paul Hudson, Learning and Outreach Manager at WAAS, said: "We are thrilled to get this money to help us record these structures which were an important but often overlooked part of the landscape in the Vale of Evesham, as well the giving us the opportunity to restore three. We also look forward to hearing people's stories of market gardening and making them available."
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to support this project, which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will mean that more people will be able to get involved with, protect, and learn about the heritage right on their doorstep.”
To sign up, or for further information, contact Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service on firstname.lastname@example.org