English Heritage has issued specific guidance on metal theft in view of the intensification of the problem in recent months, particularly on lead roofs on churches. This has been a problem within the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB.
The guidance highlights the importance of prevention and the need to use a combination of security measures to deter thieves. Many of the options suggested are low cost but effective measures like locking gates to prevent vehicles getting close, preventing easy access to roofs such as removing water butts, waste bins, applying anti-climb paint to drain pipes and roof guttering, and erecting prominent warning signs.
If the roof or parts of it has been stolen, the guidance emphasises that like-for-like replacement is English Heritage’s starting position but it also makes clear the conditions under which alternative materials can be considered and used by local authorities and owners on a case by case basis.