In a sight not often seen in the town, contractors organised by North Worcestershire Water Management were seen rowing across the Moons Moat pond in an aquatic litter pick. The exercise, together with some non-invasive shrub removal, was a pre-cursor the start of significant works to improve the historic Moons Moat site in Church Hill South.
Moons Moat is the site of a 13th century moated house, surrounded by the Church Hill South ‘New Town’ development of the 20th century which now, with the benefit of scheduling as an ancient monument, enjoys a level of protection equivalent to Stone Henge.
Works at the site are scheduled thanks to the ten year Management Plan produced by Moons Moat Conservation Group, working with Church Hill Big Local, Redditch Borough Council, the Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service and North Worcestershire Water Service. The Plan, which details activities designed to improve the long-term care of the site, has this week received Scheduled Monument Consent from Historic England, with requirements - as with any work on a scheduled historic site - for monitoring and recording the work and strict conditions about what can and cannot be done.
Phil Mitchell, Secretary of the MMCG said “This is great news, it means that the eighteen months of detailed research and planning have been worthwhile and we will now see progress in our aim of restoring the Moons Moat site to pristine condition.” He added, “Special thanks go to Emily Hathaway of Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Services who has guided us through the process and liaised with Historic England on our behalf.”
The approval will enable Redditch Borough Council, owners of the site, to plan urgent tree work and fencing repairs. The tree work will be scheduled after the nesting season and with protection of any bat roosts which may discovered from the imminent bat activity surveys. Repair of the fencing which guards the steeper banks of the moat adjacent to the island is seen as an urgent safety measure.
In addition to these measures to improve the physical appearance of the site, the MMCG is actively pursuing its ‘outreach’ activity plans with a September Community Fun Day organised at the Moat to launch these activities.
The next challenge for the Group is to acquire grants and sponsorships to fund these activities. Local businesses, particularly those which trade from the adjacent Moons Moat Industrial Estate, will be approached to support and if possible to sponsor these activities.
Other members of the community have opportunity to support - as volunteers, or by donating to a Crowd Funding appeal to finance support from professional organisations such as Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Services and the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.
If you, or your organisation, would like to sponsor an activity, help organise and run an event, or you would just like to help and support us, please use the contacts below to get in touch.