OWNERS of historical houses in the New Forest are invited to attend a specialist course to help them care for their properties so that the character of the area may be preserved.

Park bosses hope that if owners learn how to use the right materials and proper repair methods they will avoid the irretrievable loss of some properties.

Homeowners can attend the two-day course on Saturday 23 March and Saturday 27 April or Saturday 12 October and Saturday 2 November.

Among the things the course will cover are historic roof structures and coverings, the care and repair of cob structures, and traditional lime mortars.

The course costs £20 per person and will be held at Minstead Village Hall between 9.30am and 4.30pm on both days.

It is being led by local historic building specialist Kevin Stubbs who is an expert on the New Forest’s historical buildings and regularly teaches around the country.