A MEDIEVAL dyke, bronze age ceremonial grounds and a smelt mill are among the region’s historic sites at risk of being lost if action is not taken, says Historic England.

The organisation has today published its Heritage at Risk Register which gives a snapshot of the critical health of England’s most valued historic places, and those most at risk of being lost to future generations.

The decline of culturally significant sites could be due to neglect, decay or inappropriate development and eight new sites across the North-East, all in Northumberland, have been added to the 2020 Register.

In Yorkshire, nine new sites have been added, of which eight are in North Yorkshire.

These include round barrows - ceremonial mounds dating from the bronze age - in Hawnby, a lead smelt mill in Grinton, and a Medieval dyke known as War Dike in Stainton Dale near Scarborough.

In total, there are now 271 entries on the 2020 Risk Register across the North-East and 546 in Yorkshire.

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However, it is not all bad news as six sites across the North-East have been removed from the Register this year, meaning that they are no longer at a critical stage.

Ridsdale Ironworks in Northumberland and All Saints Church in Newcastle are among those that have been saved thanks to multiple renovation programmes.

There have also been success stories in Yorkshire, with a total of 16 sites removed from the register this year.

This includes Kirby Bank Trod, a 400m section of 13th Century flag stone path in the North York Moors which forms part of an ancient route used by the Cistercian monks at Rievaulx Abbey to move goods from their various land holdings.

As a Green Road it meant that Kirby Bank Trod could be used by 4x4 vehicles and trail bikes, which were causing serious damage.

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Concerned by the state of the track, Kirby, Great Broughton and Ingleby Greenhow Local History Group devoted their energies to saving the site.

They campaigned for it to be designated as a scheduled monument in 2012 and then successfully lobbied for a Traffic Regulation Order in 2017, which limited the Trod’s use to horse riders and walkers.

Once this order was put into place, the group worked with the North York Moors National Park to repair the damage caused by the off-road vehicles.

Trevor Mitchell, regional director for Historic England in the region, said: “It is the varied tapestry of our historic places in the North East that helps us define who we are.

"In testing times such as these, heritage can give us a sense of continuity and bring us comfort.

"We also know that investing in the North-East’s historic places can help boost our economic recovery.

He added: "The six places in the North-East rescued from the register this year show us that good progress is being made, but there is still a long way to go and many more historic buildings and places which need TLC, funding, strong partnership working and community support to give them a brighter future.”