NHIG Conservation Principles Launched

The first comprehensive statement has been prepared specifically for the conservation of ironwork. The National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) formally launched its Conservation Principles for Heritage Forged & Cast Ironwork at the British Artist Blacksmiths’ Association (BABA) AGM which was held at The Herefordshire College of Technology in Holme Lacy on 2-4 August.

The NHIG Conservation Principles, which have been endorsed by the National Trust, English Heritage and The Ironmongers’ Company, are much-needed and will provide long overdue guidance for practitioners and specifiers alike. The principles are practical in nature and have been carefully developed by the industry in order to be authoritative and widely accepted. It has long been felt that while conservation is important, good conservation is essential. Poor specification, tendering, ethical standards and a general lack of understanding can lead to bad or inappropriate “conservation” work. NHIG’s hope is that these new principles will ensure that commissions are appropriately carried out. Throughout the development process NHIG’s aim has not been to invent something new, but to make universally accepted general conservation principles more relevant to ironwork and, uniquely, expand on the philosophy behind these principles in order to improve understanding.

NHIG Standards Officer, Geoff Wallis, said:

“The NHIG was established to define and promote best practice in the conservation of historic ironwork. Fundamental to this is the need for clearly stated and widely accepted conservation principles. Ours have been reviewed by leading conservation professionals and twice by blacksmiths, and are accepted widely, so are an essential first step in defining good practice.”

NHIG Conservation Guidelines (.pdf)

For further information please see our page about our Conservation Principles.

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