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ACR Hits the Headlines in Operation Clothes Moth

Amber Xavier-Rowe ACR, Head of Collections Conservation for English Heritage and Icon accredited member, has been hitting the headlines today with her work on clothes moths


English Heritage today is launching Operation Clothes Moth to investigate the pesky moths and to help protect historic furnishings and fabrics from damage. Over the last five years, the number of clothes moths recorded at English Heritage sites has doubled. Operation Clothes Moth will help conservation scientists to get a better picture of the scale of the problem across the country.

From today, anyone visiting a staffed English Heritage site will be able to collect a free clothes moth trap to use in their own home and monitor the presence of clothes moths and then report the results on the English Heritage website.


English Heritage has been actively monitoring the spread of clothes moths since 1997, and now monitors at over 40 sites across the country, with the aim of preventing damage to over 500,000 historic artefacts in their care across England. English Heritage recently discovered the presence of another species of moth, the Pale Backed Clothes Moth which has previously not been found in historic houses.

Amber Xavier-Rowe said:

Clothes moths are a conservator’s worst nightmare and it’s an ongoing battle to keep them under control... Join Operation Clothes Moth and help us to protect our unique collection for future generations.

The news has made a huge splash in British Media with articles in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times and being featured on the front page of the BBC News site. Viewers of BBC Breakfast would have caught a feature on the operation live from English Heritage’s Eltham Palace featuring another Icon member, Rebecca Bennett. In addition, Amber has been given over seventeen live radio interviews, including for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme (where it's been selected as a highlight!). The coverage makes it one of English Heritage’s most successful press campaigns.


The results of the study will be released in November when we will excitedly be awaiting further news coverage.

Media success stories such as these demonstrate that there is a real passion in Britain to conserve our shared heritage. Conservators have the potential to make a huge impact in the public awareness of issues concerning heritage and conservation.

Lead Image: Interiors at Walmer Castle in Kent An English Heritage site where regular conservation cleaning takes place to prevent clothes moth damage / English Heritage ©

​All images reproduced with kind permission from English Heritage ©


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