Will they find more potatoes growing in guttering when Wisbech town centre is cleaned a few days ahead of the Royal Visit?

PUBLISHED: 11:37 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:37 19 November 2018

Gutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

Gutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

Archant

A free High Street gutter clean is coming to Wisbech just days ahead of the Royal Visit by HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Gutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCILGutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

It is the second sky rise clean up. Last year’s discovered a pile of potatoes growing in one town centre shop guttering.

A cherry picker will spring into action on Thursday November 22, to clear gutters and gullies of leaves and overgrown vegetation – a common cause of damage and damp in historic properties.

Councillor David Oliver, the cabinet member for heritage, said: “When the first gutter clean was held last year literally tons of soil, vegetation and waste was removed from the gutters – there was even a crop of potatoes growing above one shop!

“The cleaning of gutters, parapets and down pipes is a crucial aspect of maintenance to ensure that historic buildings are preserved and it also helps owners avoid long-term and costly problems in future.

Gutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Last year they found potatoes in a gutter. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCILGutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Last year they found potatoes in a gutter. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

“For that reason I’m delighted it is taking place again, and I hope to see it return during the next two years of the High Street project too.”

The chance to go up in a cherry picker also gives council officers the opportunity to check rooftops for other signs of damage or potential problems which owners can be advised on.

The service is offered to property owners and tenants free-of-charge as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Wisbech High Street Project, which is being delivered by Fenland District Council with support from local partners as part of the Wisbech 2020 Vision.

A great success at its debut last year, the clean up was launched in response to concerns raised by the council’s conservation officers about the amount of vegetation growing in gutters and the negative impact on the condition of buildings.

Gutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCILGutter clean by Fenland District Council in 2017. it is being brought back again in time for the Royal visit. Picture: FENLAND DISTRICT COUNCIL

Damp in historic buildings was one of the issues tackled in August when the project’s first free conservation workshop was held at Octavia View.

The next one is planned for February 2019.

The gutter clean is supported by project volunteers and includes members of the Wisbech Society.

Conservation officers from Fenland District Council will be available on the day to address questions from building owners and offer practical advice about taking care of their buildings.

• For more information visit highstreetwisbech.org.uk or email the council’s townscape heritage officer for the Wisbech High Street Project tfletcher@fenland.gov.uk.

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