If you like to get out and about now the area is less busy, you might wish to avoid the lovely village of Bucks Mills in Devon for a while.

Torridge District Council have announced that remedial works at Bucks Mills Lime Kiln will commence on Monday 31st October, which are expected to last for three weeks while a section of the Kiln is dismantled.

Around half of the nearby car park will be sectioned off and reserved as a site compound, with storage for machinery, materials and facilities for the contractors. The Council has also announced that it will be necessary to close the footpath (Woolsery 14) leading from the village to the lime kiln, as site machinery and materials will be moving up and down this access path during the works. Risk assessment have also deemed the structure will be too dangerous to walk around while it remains in a weakened state during the demolition and in the darker mornings and nights following winter daylight saving changes to clocks.

Bucks Mills

The Council says:

The works were arranged following a recent routine inspection of the Kiln during which cracks and movement were noted in sections of the stonework. Temporary signage to advise members of the public venturing seaward of the kiln of the potential instability and possibility of further sudden movement and land slips were installed while the extent of the works needed, were determined. The action to be taken follows on from a Geotechnical Engineer inspection, which recommended the removal of a section of the upper Kiln, identified as the main area of concern. Engineers were mindful that hot weather followed by very wet conditions were the precursor to previous slippages and damage at the Kiln in 1990.

Since the Kiln is listed and of historic significance the Councils Building Control and Conservation Officers were also consulted reaching the same conclusions for partial demolition. Devon County Councils Historic Environment Team and Historic England have been involved in drawing up plans and an Archaeological Survey will be undertaken to ensure the features of the structure are recorded prior to and during the removal of any material.

Councillor Bob Hicks – Lead Member for the Economy and Property said:

“We regret that we have needed to undertake this work, which has required the closure of the footpath so that the partial demolition could be carried out safely and with minimal risk. Unfortunately, the structure will not be safe enough during the period of works to allow the path to reopen before all of the work has been completed. The scheme has been designed to preserve as much of the structure as possible while achieving the objective of making it safe from further movement or risk of sudden collapse. We appreciate people’s patience, especially local residents while the appointed contractors undertake this task.”