The HWF’s work on the conservation of built heritage was initiated in 1999 with the restoration of the eighteenth-century Ramkot Fort near Mangla (Azad Jammu and Kashmir). Prior to this intervention, the fort had remained neglected for more than 50 years, causing serious damage to various parts of the fort’s structure. The aim of this project was to restore the fort in a manner representative of similar structures built during that period. The main focus of the restoration was to protect the most vulnerable sections of the fort, and to test restoration techniques to be used at a later stage.
Apart from the intrinsic value of restoring an historical site, the HWF’s conservation efforts were aimed at generating local employment, community ownership, opportunities for local education and recreation, and research and restoration expertise that could prove useful in similar projects elsewhere in Pakistan. The organization helped develop the site’s tourist potential by designing a landing area for boats ferrying visitors across the river, and pathways leading through buildings of special interest.