#HeritageChat November 2021 – Heritage and Levelling Up

Closed pubs in Leeds.

Ahead of the launch Heritage Alliance Heritage Debate on ‘Levelling Up’ What does it mean for Heritage?, November’s #HeritageChat discussed Heritage & Levelling Up.

Thanks to Owain Lloyd-James (Historic England) who helped us facilitate the chat. Lots of great points were shared on: What do we interpret as ‘levelling up’ and why heritage organisations should engage with it, who to partner with, what risks should be taken into account. Participants also shared a wide range of successful case studies.

You can read the summary of the chat here.

If you want to continue the discussion on levelling up, don’t forget to book your place at the Alliance’s Heritage Debate (on Zoom, 30 Nov, 10.00-12.00) – book tickets, send in your questions, and even write a short blog on the topic!

Picture: Dan Burton on

#HeritageResponds Case Studies: Resilient places

External wall of the 'Passive Haus'.

Today, COP26 will focus on advancing action in the places we live, from communities, through to cities and regions.

Climate change will have a significant impact on communities around the country. Heritage can help us respond and act in a number of ways. Our primary response has to be in retaining – and adapting – what we already have, and what is valued by local people and visitors alike.

The Zetland Road PassivHaus project adapted a pair of typical ‘hard to treat’ Victorian townhouses in Manchester to meet the demanding PassivHaus standard. The case study, submitted by Historic England, demonstrates that historic buildings can be made highly energy efficient.

Read the Historic England case study here

The restoration of the historic Burnley Canal wharf is set to bring major benefits to the former textile town. An important canal wharf and three Grade II listed buildings have been saved and given a new use and by doing so, the lifespan of the buildings has been extended and embodied carbon has been retained. The site has been restored by the Canal & River Trust with financial assistance from National Lottery Heritage Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Burnley Council.

Read the Canal & River Trust case study here.

Both the case studies feature in our report #HeritageResponds, which can be downloaded here.

Heritage is part of the solution.

Picture: Rick McCullagh.

#HeritageResponds Case Studies: Holkham Estate & Port Sunlight Village Trust

Family in Port Sunlight.

Today, COP26 will focus on transport.

As part of its new ‘WONDER’ strategy, Holkham Hall & Estate (Historic Houses member) seeks to embed low-carbon living, environmental recovery and zero waste at the heart of its operations. One of the next steps is to partner with Good Journey to promote public transport, cycling and walking.

Read the Holkham case study here

Port Sunlight Village Trust has adopted an Environmental Sustainability Strategy (ESS). Through adoption of the ESS, PSVT has committed to reducing its environmental impact year on year, reducing the impacts to the environment from its facilities and operation, and championing biodiversity and sustainability as it cares for its natural and built heritage.

Read the Port Sunlight Village Trust case study here.

Both the case studies feature in our report #HeritageResponds, which can be downloaded here.

Heritage is part of the solution.

Picture: Family in Port Sunlight.

#HeritageResponds Case Studies: National Trust & English Heritage

The landslip at Thorncombe Beacon, Dorset April 2021.

Today, COP26 will focus on progressing gender equality in climate action, and demonstrating that science and innovation can deliver climate solutions to meet, and accelerate, increased ambition.

The heritage sector has been engaging in research and innovation for the last 20 years, identifying the potential risks and impacts from climate change. An amazing example is National Trust’s Hazard Mapping, that illustrated the threat climate change poses to some of its most iconic and culturally significant sites. This allowed the Trust to offer some solutions on how to tackle it.

Read the National Trust case study here

A great example of technological innovation has been piloted in Kenwood House (North London), where English Heritage worked with Ecclesiastical and technology firm Shepherd on state-of-the-art monitoring sensors. The pilot involved installing self-contained sensors to discreetly monitor the building and environmental factors in real time, allowing them to respond to risks and understand, manage and reduce electricity, gas & water consumption to lower costs and reduce carbon footprint.

Read the English Heritage case study here.

Both the case studies feature in our report #HeritageResponds, which can be downloaded here.

Heritage is part of the solution.

Picture: landslip at Thorncombe Beacon, Dorset, April 2021 – copyright John Miller/National Trust.

#HeritageResponds Case Studies: Nature Based Solutions

Ensuring the importance of nature and sustainable land use as part of global action on climate change and a clean, green recovery is on today’s COP26 agenda.

What’s good for nature is often good for heritage and vice versa. Our view must go beyond protecting nature within a heritage context, and we are increasingly embracing nature-based solutions and former traditional land management practice to improve conservation, to reduce risk and mitigate climate change.

English Heritage and the University of Oxford are working in collaboration to develop a new research agenda to inform more sustainable approaches to historic monument and building conservation, exploring the application of Nature Based Solutions to build climate resilience and enhance biodiversity.

Read the full case study here

Another great case study comes focuses on the Skell Valley. The valley has been flooded several times in recent years, raising fears that the ruins of Fountains Abbey are at risk of irreparable damage. A £2.5m National Trust project, in partnership with Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Beauty will implement nature-based solutions to improve the resilience of Skell Valley’s resilience to changing weather. 16 local farmers and landowners will be rewarded for implementing nature based solutions, and the Trust will plant trees, create ponds and revive a nature reserve.

Read the Skell Valley case study here.

Both the case studies feature in our report #HeritageResponds, which can be downloaded here.

Heritage is part of the solution.

Picture: Hailes Abbey (Gloucestershire) – copyright University of Oxford.

HEF News Archive