updated August 2014

On Saturday 9 August, retired architect Rüdiger Maul, with his son Jean-Philippe, was working on the roof of a house which Rüdiger had acquired opposite the home in which he lived with his wife Erika. Rüdiger fell from the roof and hit his head so badly that he died from the injury on Sunday morning 10 August 2014. ECOVAST will miss Rüdiger, who inspired much interest in historic buildings, design and energy conservation in heritage assets, chairing the Rural Architecture Group for many years with warmth, charm and practical knowledge.

The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission made contact with Mrs Magdalena Banu, of ECOVAST Romania, about the new communication campaign under the signature 'Europe's Common Agricultural Policy: Taking care of our roots'.
DG AGRI has issued a short and colourful animation 'CAP - Produce Food' highlighting the essential role farmers play in ensuring the supply of healthy, safe and affordable food.'
The clip is free of charge and copyright and is available in 23 EU languages.


We hear with great sadness that Jane Wade died suddenly and unexpectedly on 26 January 2014 from a brain haemorrhage.
This tribute to Jane has been written by Michael Dower who is expressing our thoughts and condolence to John and Jane's family:
"Jane and her husband John Sell have been loyal and active members of ECOVAST since its very early years. They ran a distinguished practice in architecture and landscape architecture, based in a lovely house in the historic Cinque Port town at Faversham, Kent - a county known as the 'Garden of England'. Much of their work was focused on the restoration, conservation and enhancement of historic buildings or historic gardens, and they also made many fine additions to the heritage by way of new buildings and landscapes.
They had a truly European view, and a fascination with the wide variety and high quality life of the cultural and architectural heritage of this continent, particularly in its rural areas. They have contributed much to the work of Europa Nostra, of which John is Executive Vice-President; and of ECOVAST, notably of its Rural Architecture Group. They enjoyed collaborating with architects from other countries, notably in the former countries of Yugoslavia, such as Croatia and Bosnia. In recent years, they found great pleasure in buying and transforming a small historic house in Dubrovnik.
Jane was a beautiful, graceful, thoughtful, creative woman, humane and of high moral fibre, committed to the protection and enrichment of the architectural and cultural heritage, always with the well-being of people also in mind.
We offer our warm condolence to John and to Jane's family, and hope they will be comforted by the warm affection of so many people who admired Jane and who benefitted from her determination to leave the world in a more beautiful place."
Michael Dower
Olga Sevan, ECOVAST Russia says:
"It is terrible news about Jane... I send my condolences to John and to Jane's family, and the family of ECOVAST. We loved her, and continue to love. I didn't meet her and John in recent years, but it was so interesting to work with them. I remember their unique relation and friendship, and love, which they spread around, drawing us into their lovely environment. Photos which I have after our meetings and travels in different countries show John and Jane together always. It was so warm to be with you, our lovely friends. Thank you, Jane that you were with us..."
Olga Sevan

In 2013 the ECOVAST International Assembly was held in the village of Kozard, Hungary at the end of September.
The event was attended by representatives from the Hungarian Section, Germany Section, Russian Section and the UK Section. We had several last minute cancellations because of illness and our Austrian and Croatian colleagues were unable to attend. The programme, arranged by Gabor Ragnai and Dr Pal Hajas was good indeed. We were welcomed by our host – Ms Marta Hajas, the Mayor of Kozard – and we visited various venues in the village which had seen many restorations of traditional buildings and which was now endowed with several buildings which could be used by the whole community – including a new small church above the village hall. The village was adorned with many local carvings.
We were also taken to the nearest small town of Paszto (population of around 10,000) where we met the Deputy Mayor and the Head of Economic Development – before visiting the original core of the historic town. We were then taken to the nearby World Heritage Village of Holloko where we also met the Mayor and discussed the plans to revive the village – the first village in Europe to be recognised by UNESCO and acknowledged as one of the most beautiful traditional villages in Europe.
The main event of the visit was a conference which had two main themes – the preservation of historic buildings and small towns. The discussion centred on the need to preserve the most beautiful traditional buildings, yet enable them to continue as ‘living’ settlements. The debate focussed on Holloko which we had seen the day before and had been the subject of a ‘management plan’ by Deszo Kovacs of the Hungarian section – though the ideas we had heard at the village were not in line with the plan – demonstrating the real dilemma faced by local people, politicians and specialists. Another historic village nearby and how they were tackling the problem of preservation was outlined by the Chief Architect of Nograd county – Tamas Karaba.
Another small town – Mezohegyes – in Bekes county in the southern Great Hungarian Plain also has a unique history as it was founded in 1784 as the Hungarian Royal Apostolic Stud by Emperor Joseph II and it still has many examples of unique architecture related to the world of horse-keeping. Today it is still the home of the Hungarian stud and famous for its breeds of horses. The town was described by the Mayor, Dr Faltin Erzsebet, who had travelled a long way from Mezohegyes to attend the ECOVAST conference, and promote her town. She is working towards the possibility of UNESCO recognising the uniqueness of the town.
At the end of the conference Valerie Carter, ECOVAST President, described the work that undertaken in the last few years on small towns. She outlined the formal Position Paper which had just been completed to set out the importance of small towns and which was to be sent out to influence policy makers in DG Regio; DG Agri of the European Commission and the Council of Europe.
The final day of the event was the ECOVAST General Assembly meeting.

21-23 October 2013 at the Russian Exhibition Centre.
The international forum "Preservation of a cultural heritage" took place within the International Forum International Congress "Modern Trends in the study, protection, restoration and promotion of cultural heritage". http://rph-expo.ru/forum_program.
Dr. Olga Sevan presented a paper during the plenary section “Experience of the conservation wooden buildings of historic Russian cities (for example, Tomsk and Irkutsk)” and was the head of round table "Culture of Wood: the past and the present". It was not only about restoration of wooden architecture monuments, museums, but also how to build in historical wooden cities and the villages. The round table was organized for the fourth time of Russian Institute for Culture Research, Russian ICOMOS (CIVVIH, CIAV), ECOVAST and other organizations and it will be useful for the future programs and projects http://www.ecovast.ru/images/2013/Invitation2013.pdf It had a wider context which needs to be observed and supported within the Russian culture. The works of young architects, modern masters and the various firms entering into the Association of Wooden Housing Construction are offering new materials and approaches on how to preserve the wooden buildings in historical wooden cities and the villages. The main purpose of this round table was asessing the activity on "Culture of Wood" during 2013 in Russia and abroad. The participation of various Russian specialists and organizations was discussed and experiences shared in scientific, educational and practical projects.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT: Common Agricultural Policy Reform
ECOVAST engages in the European Commission debates.
See more information here.


ECOVAST UK also provides information at:


ECOVAST c/o Mrs Valerie CARTER (President)
“Sherborne”, Ingleden Park Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6NS, UK
(Tel +44 1580 762379 E mail valeriecarter@ecovast.org)