Bennerley Viaduct makes global 'at risk' heritage list

  • Published
Bennerly ViaductImage source, World Monuments Fund
Image caption,
Plans are in place to turn the viaduct into a path and wildlife hub

A disused Victorian railway viaduct has joined Notre Dame and Easter Island on a list of "at risk" heritage sites.

The 1,410ft (430m) Bennerley Viaduct, on the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire border, is the only UK location on the 2020 World Monuments Watch.

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) said it wanted to support plans to make it a "community asset promoting well-being".

Friends of Bennerley Viaduct said they were "delighted" and hoped the listing would attract funding and expertise.

Image source, World Monuments Fund
Image caption,
The viaduct is a focus for a number of community projects

The list is compiled by WMF heritage to highlight sites "in need of urgent action that demonstrate the potential to trigger social change through conservation".

The bi-annual list also includes irrigation systems in India and a shrine in Iraq.

Image source, World Monuments Fund
Image caption,
Notre Dame was badly damaged by fire in April

WMF said it would now work with local organisations to design and implement targeted activities, including education and conservation work.

Bennerley was built in 1877 but closed to rail traffic in 1968 and was sold to conservation group Railway Paths in 1998.

Jeff Wynch, chair of Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, said: "We are delighted. This will bring tremendous benefits, in the short-term with funding and in the long-term with expertise and support.

"It could not have come at a better time as we, along with Railway Paths, are starting on a project to turn it into an accessible walkway.

"We hope to attract people who might not otherwise engage with heritage and wildlife."

It is Grade II listed and one of only two such viaducts in England still surviving. It is also on the Historic England at risk register.

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