Conservation of the Historic Environment course develops partnership with the Canal and River Trust

 Canals: History, Heritage and Practical Issues

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design has recently joined forces with national charity the Canal and River Trust (CRT), encouraging Conservation of the Historic Environment postgraduate students to take part in two “inspirational and fun-packed” days exploring the canals of Birmingham.

Architecture and Design Courses

Birmingham City University

The students on the new Continuing Professional Development course entitled ‘Canals: History, Heritage and Practical Issues’ were joined in May by five staff members of the charity as well as 11 participants from canal trusts spanning all over England.

Birmingham, also renowned as ‘The Venice of the North’, offered up many aspects of its canal heritage on the new course that forms part of the overall postgraduate degree. Harriet Devlin MBE, Conservation of the Historic Environment Course Director said:   

Canal experts

Presentations were also made by canal experts as part of the exploration surrounding the history of canals, the problems of maintenance, the impact of High Speed 2 (HS2), antisocial behaviour, restoring canal vessels and the legacy of the first civil engineer James Brindley.

In addition, the group took part in an instructive walk with a Canal and River Trust Heritage officer along Ashted Locks just beside student accommodation blocks currently under construction.

This was followed by a trip looking at historic features, repair problems and solutions on the canals; travelling on a chartered narrow boat from the Fiddle and Bone Pub to Edgbaston Reservoir, stopping off at various checkpoints along the route.

The Canal and River Trust

The Canal and River Trust is the third largest owner of heritage in the UK after the Church and the National Trust, being responsible for over 2,000 miles of canals, 1956 miles of towpath, 1583 locks, 55 tunnels, 2663 listed buildings and much more. Harriet Devlin MBE added:

Upcoming Continuing Professional Development courses

Various Continuing Professional Development courses are scheduled to take place throughout the next few months covering disciplines such as timber conservation, historic interiors, historic landscapes, brick tile and terracotta conservation and much more. Please contact to find out more.

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