#HeritageChat Archive

We produce a summary of each month’s #HeritageChat for people who weren’t able to take part in the live chats.

Monthly #HeritageChat summaries

Overlap between natural and historic environment – November 2020

November’s Heritage Chat was devoted to ‘Overlap between natural and cultural environment’, and was led in collaboration with Natural England. The topic was suggested by Ian Marshman (ALGAO). Participants lively discussed some important topics such as the joined protection of historic and natural environment, the enhancement of biodiversity, opportunities for the ELMs, the sector’s contribution to tackling climate change, ‘rewilding’ issues. A full summary of the chat can be found here.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Heritage Sector – October 2020

October’s Heritage Chat was devoted to ‘Diversity and Inclusion in the Heritage Sector’, since these are cross-cutting principles of the activities carried out by the Historic Environment Forum. The Heritage Alliance helped us lead the chat, as they are working on their future report on this topic. Participants shared thoughts on the challenges faced by the heritage sector to foster inclusive practices, as well as the solutions adopted by each organisation, best practices and free resources available online. A full summary of the chat can be found here.

Ways out of crisis – September 2020

The topic of September’s Heritage Chat – ‘Ways out of crisis’ – was suggested by the team of the new Rebuilding Heritage programme based at The Heritage Alliance. Participants shared thoughts and ideas to help the heritage sector during the ongoing pandemic crisis. Discussion focussed on different elements connected to the present situation, such as the main challenges for the future of the sector, future training needs, partnerships that could be built and how the sector can work better together in future. A full summary of the chat can be found here. The Rebuilding Heritage team used some of the outcomes of Heritage Chat to build a programme better tailored to the sector’s current needs.

Replicas as a means of creating ‘living’ heritage, interpretation and understanding – August 2020

August’s Heritage Chat was organised in partnership with Paul Hibberd of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust and explored replicas as a means of creating ‘living’ heritage, interpretation and understanding. Topics covered included how to define a replica in the context of heritage and how replicas add value to heritage, particularly regarding enhancing understanding of past ways of living and in helping people with different types of disabilities to engage with heritage. Discussions also focussed on what value replicas have in addition to acting as a surrogate for originals, along with how the digital age has changed the role of replicas and more presently, how the use of replicas has and will change in light of the pandemic. A full summary of the chat can be found here.

Adapting teaching and learning to an online environment- July 2020

During the Coronavirus pandemic, training providers and educators have increasingly been adapting their teaching to an online environment. In light of this, July’s Heritage Chat provided an opportunity to explore the benefits and challenges of online teaching, as well as the implications for the heritage sector.  Participants shared new techniques and technologies that have helped them to adapt to teaching online, and there was a great deal of discussion about how online teaching can be made accessible. Others discussed the potential for teaching heritage skills online in a post-lockdown world, particularly relating to apprenticeships. The Heritage 2020 ‘Capacity Building’ group have been discussing the impact of Covid-19 on how training is provided, initially in the context of Apprenticeships, but they used the Heritage Chat as a way of widening the discussion. For anyone looking for examples of good resources or case studies regarding online teaching, the chat provided plenty of material, and we have summarised the discussions here.

Strengthening collaboration between the heritage sector, higher education institutions and community groups- June 2020

June’s Heritage Chat explored how collaboration can be strengthened between the heritage sector, higher education institutions and community groups. Participants discussed what the key elements are for positive collaboration and what can hinder progress. They also discussed how collaboration can proceed despite a lack of funding, with an additional focus on what collaboration will look like in a post-lockdown world. Many brilliant examples of collaborative projects were shared. The Heritage 2020 Discovery, Identification and Understanding group will use these to help with their work to build a selection of case studies that provide examples of a range of collaborative projects, how to get them started, the benefits they can bring, and how to get the best out of them. Please find a full summary of the chat here.

Digital Skills in Heritage- May 2020

The May 2020 #HeritageChat was designed in collaboration with The Heritage Alliance which is one of four partners in the Heritage Digital consortium project focused on digital skills development for the heritage sector. The chat provided the opportunity to discuss the digital skills that heritage organisations see themselves as needing to improve upon, as well as providing an opportunity to celebrate success stories. Topics discussed included digital accessibility, the most effective means for which digital skills can be used in the heritage sector, and how digital tools can be used in the classroom for heritage purposes. There was also a focus on how ‘digital’ can be used to boost heritage tourism. Read a full summary of the discussions here.

Impact of COVID-19 on heritage sector- April 2020

April’s Heritage Chat was an opportunity to build on work being done by Historic England, The Heritage Alliance and through the Historic Environment Forum and Heritage 2020 to discuss the immediate and longer-term issues that heritage sector organisations (from self-employed individuals, to large organisations) are facing due to COVID-19. Topics included how they are addressing these issues; what support exists to help the sector through this very difficult time; and where there are gaps in support. Lots of resources were shared among participants, particularly relating to funding bids and building new digital skills. Read the full summary here.

Archaeology and innovation- March 2020

March’s Heritage Chat was led by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and explored archaeology and innovation. CIfA are currently working with the Association of Local Government Archaeology Officers on a Historic England funded project to explore innovation and how historic environment professionals can learn about and incorporate innovative practice. The aim of the project is to build sector capacity and promote innovative approaches to maximise public benefit. This #HeritageChat forms part of the project and discussed the nature of innovation, the barriers to it and how the sector can better promote innovative initiatives. Read a full summary here.

Heritage Crime- February 2020

February’s Heritage Chat was led by Mark Harrison, Head of Heritage Crime Strategy at Historic England and discussed all things relating to Heritage Crime. The chat began by defining what heritage crimes are and which are the most common. Conversations then moved to discussing the ways in which stronger community engagement with historic sites and strategic partnerships could be used to reduce rates of heritage crime. Excellent examples were shared of initiatives that are already in place. Discussions towards the end of the chat focused on whether sentencing for heritage crimes is appropriate and whether the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is used to repay the public heritage debt from the criminal loss of heritage assets. Throughout the chat contributors shared excellent guidance on preventing and reporting heritage crime. Read a full summary here.

    Heritage and the creative industries- January 2020

    January’s #HeritageChat explored the relationship between the heritage sector and the creative industries and discussions built upon the Heritage Alliance’s recent publication of their report Inspiring Creativity, Heritage and the Creative Industries. Participants shared examples of successful partnerships that led to wider audience engagement and improved accessibility to heritage sites and stories. Also, discussed were the skills and approaches needed for such partnerships and the challenges that might present themselves. You can read a full summary of the chat here.

      2019 Heritage Highlights- December 2019

      December’s Heritage Chat provided an opportunity for various organisations and individuals working in the heritage sector to share what they achieved in 2019 and what they hope to achieve in 2020. Participants were first asked to share examples of work they carried out that related to Heritage 2020 priority areas and were then asked to share anything more broadly that they were proud of. The summary of the chat shows just how much wonderful work took place in the sector in 2019. Read it here.

        Encouraging the growth of citizen heritage science- November 2019

        November’s #HeritageChat explored how the growth of citizen heritage science projects can be improved. In particular, discussions focused on what types of citizen science projects are particularly effective in engaging people with heritage and provided an opportunity for people and organisations who have experience in organising such projects, to provide tips to others looking to do so. Advice was offered on determining audiences, the best methods of collecting data and the pitfalls to look out for. Existing guidance on running a citizen science project was also shared.  You can read a full summary of the discussions here.

        Engaging 16-24 year olds with heritage- October 2019

        October’s #HeritageChat explored why the 16-24-year-old age group are underrepresented in terms of engagement with heritage, which is currently a key focus of the H2020 Public Engagement working group. Discussion points during the hour included whether the statistics reflect the everyday experience in the sector, what problems there are that impact upon a ‘heritage offer’ for 16-24-year olds, and whether low engagement could also be caused by perceptions of heritage among the age group. Participants also shared what has worked and been popular in their experience and ideas of what could increase engagement in the future. You can catch up on all the conversations that took place here.

        Heritage and the High Street- September 2019

        September’s #HeritageChat followed on from our previous chat in June about Historic High Streets and the future role they will play in society. This time the Constructive, Conservation and Sustainable Management working group chose to discuss what non-funding support could help local authorities and communities to regenerate their historic high streets. Participants looked at what role national organisations could play in this and what skills gaps there are that inhibit progress. Throughout the chat, excellent examples were shared of communities coming together to support their local high streets. You can read a full summary here.

        Collaboration Report on Heritage and Higher Education Sectors- July 2019

        July’s #HeritageChat provided an opportunity for us to gather feedback on our newly published scoping study into the nature and strength of collaboration between the heritage sector and UK higher education institutions. We asked participants to respond to our findings but also share their experiences of university collaboration in relation to the historic environment. Additionally, we asked people how they think such collaboration can be improved for the future and what resources are currently available to aid the process. You can catch up on the discussion here.

        Heritage and the High Street- June 2019

        June’s #HeritageChat explored all things ‘Heritage and the High street’. Participants discussed the future role high streets will play in society and how they can best be used now. Also discussed was the information that is currently available for communities wishing to get more involved in the future of their high streets and what is missing in this regard. A popular talking point was Historic England’s newly announced High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme and how its funding should be targeted to maximise impact. You can catch up on all the discussions in our summary here. 

        Emergency Preparedness in the Historic Environment Sector- May 2019

        Last week’s #HeritageChat explored ‘emergency preparedness in the historic environment sector’, a theme that has been discussed frequently in the media following the tragic fire at Notre Dame. The chat provided participants the chance to explore lessons for the future and share with each other their wisdom and experience. Questions explored included: how historic buildings can plan to effectively respond to an emergency; what guidance and networks exist to help with this process; and what we need to think about in terms of managing communications during and after an incident. You can catch up on the ideas that were explored here.

        The Legacies of Archaeological Community Engagement in Place Making- April 2019

        The 18 April #HeritageChat explored how the legacies of archaeological community engagement in place making can be improved. Discussions focused on what exactly is meant by ‘place making’ in this context and what it means to communities in practice. Also explored was the role archaeology can play in influencing the design of new places before construction, and particularly, in consideration of health and well-being. Catch up on all the discussions here.

        Technology and Innovation in the Historic Environment Sector- March 2019

        The 21 March #HeritageChat explored all things technology and innovation in the historic environment sector. Participants discussed how technology is shaping research in the sector and what opportunities new technologies present for public engagement. There was also a focus on the digital skills that need to be developed in the sector and how the sector can work together to deliver the goals of ‘Culture is Digital‘. Read an extended summary of the chat here.

        Sharing Heritage with Communities- February 2019

        The 21 February #HeritageChat explored how heritage professionals can encourage communities to share their heritage with them and what communities want most from the heritage sector.  Also discussed were approaches to strengthening links between heritage organisations and community groups, and particularly with those social groups who do not normally access heritage. Read the summary here.

        Infrastructure Projects and Community Engagement- January 2019

        The 17 January #HeritageChat explored how infrastructure projects can be used to connect communities with place. Discussions focused on  how communities can take a leading role in interpretation and be involved in post-excavation research, and what problems ‘client confidentiality’ poses to community engagement.  Read the summary here.

        Collaborative Working in the Historic Environment – December 2018

        The 20 December #HeritageChat explored how the impact of collaborative working can be maximised in the historic environment. Discussions focused on the benefits and challenges of collaboration, effective frameworks, the key attributes for successful collaboration, and how to measure the impact of collaborative work. Read the summary here.

        Health, Wellbeing and the Historic Environment – November 2018

        The 15 November #HeritageChat explored how the Historic Environment can help to address health and wellbeing concerns and the issues that the sector may need to collectively overcome in order to effectively do this.

        Read the summary here.

        Apprenticeships in the Historic Environment Sector – October 2018

        The 18 October #HeritageChat explored Apprenticeships in the Historic Environment Sector. Discussions centred upon how employers should approach recruitment, how Apprenticeships can help the sector and examples of good practice.

        Read the summary here.

        Mobile Heritage: Planes, Trains, Boats, Automobiles and more – September 2018

        The 20 September #HeritageChat provided a forum to discuss the work that is ongoing within the sector regarding mobile heritage. It was also an opportunity to reflect on issues that may pose a threat to keeping historic transport mobile in the future.

        Read the summary here.

        Pooling Learning From Youth Engagement Projects – July 2018

        The 19 July #HeritageChat provided a forum for institutions and individuals to share lessons learnt from their own past experiences about what encourages young people to engage with heritage.

        Read the summary here.

        Image sourced: Ignite Yorkshire Twitter (@igniteyorks)

        New Uses for Historic Buildings – June 2018

        The 21 June #HeritageChat looked at the potential new uses for historic buildings. Topics discussed included the need to maintain historic value whilst embracing any new uses, how best to communicate the positives of re-using historic buildings and related funding issues.

        Read the summary here.

        #Research Impacting Practice – May 2018

        The 17 May #HeritageChat looked at how to improve links between research and practice.

        Read the summary here.

        #Digital Technologies and Heritage – April 2018

        The 19 April #HeritageChat looked at the topic of digital technologies and heritage, asking the question: what’s over the digital horizon for heritage? Read the summary here.

        Image: By Martin420 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

        Industrial Heritage – March 2018

        Venice in Peril - Armstrong Mitchell CraneThe #IndustrialHeritage theme covered engaging younger generations, how to take an innovative approach to personal links to the industrial past, the role of volunteers, and more…

        Read the summary here.

        Diversity in the Historic Environment Sector – February 2018

        By MCruz (WMF) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsFebruary’s #HeritageChat was on Diversity in the Historic Environment sector.It picked up on themes explored in the 2017 Heritage 2020 Foresight Workshop.


        Follow the chat as it took place here.

        Evaluating heritage projects – January 2018

        Evaluation - Green tickJanuary’s #HeritageChat was on Evaluation: how can the heritage sector better share evaluation data and create a shared evidence base? Questions included what type of data do people collect for heritage projects? How can evaluation create added value? and What guidance is available? Follow the chat as it took place here.

        Heritage and high streets: which way next? – December 2017

        site-mock-upThe last #HeritageChat of 2017 was on the topic of Heritage and High Streets.
        Follow the chat as it took place here.

        Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Heritage Sector – are we doing enough? – November 2017

        HistoricHouses twitter imageThe first ever #HeritageChat, held in November 2017 during Global Entrepreneurship Week. It asked the question: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Heritage Sector – are we doing enough?
        Follow the chat as it took place here.

        You can find out how to take part in a #HeritageChat on our ‘Get Involved’ page.