Peak District Working Party

 Registration is closed for this event
Have a go at a range of conservation techniques at a set of historic vernacular farm buildings in a stunning location.

Monday 8 - Sunday 14 July 2024 

Sun’s out; trowels out! This year’s Peak District Working Party will take place at Hope Croft in Alstonefield, a remote and beautiful corner of the Peak District National Park.  

We’re thrilled to be partnering with our new Peak District Regional Group, locals who know this area like the back of their hands. 

Our Working Parties are open to all and are a unique opportunity to have a go at a range of conservation techniques on real historic buildings, under the guidance of world-class specialists.  

You’ll get hands-on experience of masonry, carpentry and joinery, dry stone wall, slating, and lime plastering, along with a range of other skills. We’ll be using locally sourced materials and burning our own lime using a portable field kiln. 

There will also be an opportunity to learn how to prepare and mitigate for bats during building repair projects, with a fascinating talk from roofing specialist Richard Jordan. 

Join us to learn new skills, have fun, and help to bring these special historic buildings back to life! 


This event was originally scheduled to take place at Pump House Farm and will now take place at nearby Hope Croft. We’re pleased to say that not only is the new site equally beautiful, but almost all of the activities on offer will remain the same.  

Who is this event for?

Our Working Parties are for everyone! We welcome anyone with an interest in old buildings and a desire to get their hands dirty, so whether you’re an old hand on the tools or you’ve never picked up a trowel before, you’ll be among friends here. 

Desk-based heritage professionals love getting away from their screens to be on a real old building site; builders, craftspeople and crafts students love trying out new skills with top experts; people who live in or care for old buildings love having a go at crafts they might use on their home; and old buildings enthusiasts just love being around old buildings with other people that love them! 

You will learn 

You’ll have the chance to get hands-on experience with: 

  • Roofing, including appraisals, bat surveys, tiling and torching. 
  • Masonry, including repointing, and repairing and rebuilding sections of dressed and rubble stonework 
  • Dressing vernacular stone 
  • Structural carpentry, including floor, roof, and lintel timber repairs 
  • Joinery repairs, including windows and doors 
  • Dry stone walling 
  • Lime burning and lime mixing 
  • Internal plastering and lime washing 


This programme is subject to minor changes.

Monday 8 July

9am - 1pm    

Arrival, registration and set up tents.
Please bring your own lunch.


Welcome, introduction to site and Health and Safety briefing.
Collect your PPE and find out your allocated work stations for the week ahead.


Site tour


Work session


Down tools and tidy up

Tuesday 9 - Saturday 13 July




Morning briefing


Work session


Morning break


Work session




Work session


Afternoon break


Work session


Down tools and tidy up

Sunday 14 July



10am - 1pm

Pack up and leave site

Evening activities 

We're also arranging some optional evening events, including a visit to Cromford Mill led by surveyor and 3D scanning specialist Andy Beardsley (date TBC) and a free celebratory ceilidh in the Village Hall for Working Party participants and local residents on Saturday 13 July.

Details of how to sign up for these will be emailed to participants before the event. 


There are toilets, handwashing facilities and hot showers on site. 

If you’d like to camp please bring your own tent and camping equipment (see below). If you’d like to sleep in your campervan there will also be a dedicated campervan section on site.  

We’ll provide breakfast and lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. You’ll need to make your own arrangements for evening meals. Please note there is no fridge or cooking facilities on site, so we’d advise you to bring non-perishable food and your own camping stove. 

You will need


Please bring:

•    Ankle-high work boots (with steel toe caps and sole plate)
•    Safety glasses
•    Site gloves
•    Dust masks

We’ll provide hard hats and high-vis vests.

Camping equipment

If you’re camping, please bring:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Plate/bowl, cutlery and a mug
  • A towel and toiletries, so you can make use of the hot showers on site 
  • Any other camping equipment you’ll need

We’ll send a full list of suggested items with your joining instructions.


You’ll need to make your own arrangements for evening meals. If you’re planning to cook, please bring:

•    Camping stove or portable BBQ
•    Non-perishable food (there is no fridge on site) 

We’ll provide breakfast and lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday.

You’ll have the option to join a shared Malaysian takeaway on Saturday evening, for an addition £12.50.


Our team of Working Party specialists includes:

  • Jim Brearley-Ratcliffe, carpenter, mason and 2024 Fellow 
  • Dec Cahill, historic building surveyor and 2016 Scholar 
  • Britt Harwood, conservation architect 
  • Lizzy Hippisley Cox, glass conservator and 2016 Fellow  
  • Steve Hogarth, rope access conservator and 2022 Fellow  
  • Richard Jordan, historic roofing specialist and 1999 Fellow 
  • Sara-Mae Jordan, traditional slate maker 
  • Conor Meehan, civil, structural and environmental engineer, heritage building conservation specialist and 2013 SPAB Scholar 
  • Louie Ratcliffe, roofing 
  • Greg Chambers, carpenter and joiner 

Bursary places

We are delighted to be able to offer five bursary places. The bursary covers 100% of the standard ticket price plus a travel and subsistence allowance of up to £150, which can be claimed after the event on receipt of expenses.

Anyone can apply for a bursary, but priority will be given to:

  • Students
  • People who are unemployed or in need of financial assistance to attend the Working Party
  • People from backgrounds underrepresented in building conservation

To apply, please email by 14 June 2024.


You can expect the following conditions on site:

  • Partial step-free access 
  • Uneven surfaces 
  • Significant periods of standing, walking and kneeling, so you may wish to bring a kneeling pad 
  • Time spent working outdoors 
  • Loud noises 
  • Catering for dietary restrictions, if indicated on the booking form 

Unfortunately, we can’t allow dogs on site as it could be unsafe for them and our other participants. 

Anything we can do to make this event more accessible for you? Please email


There is no formal assessment for this Working Party, but we can provide a Certificate of Attendance upon request.

We may take photos or videos at this event to be used in future promotion, including in print and online.

All bookings are subject to our Terms and Conditions

Photo credit: Hope Villa Farm © Jamie Broadley 

8th July 2024 9:00 AM to 14th July 2024 1:00 PM
United Kingdom
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Per person £325.00