Join the HEF team! We are recruiting

Historic Environment Forum Manager

Are you passionate about the heritage sector? Do you want to facilitate the future of collaboration across important issues facing the sector?

The Historic Environment Forum (HEF) is seeking an outstanding person to manage the Forum and its Steering Group. HEF is a Historic England-funded project delivered on behalf of the wider sector by the Heritage Alliance, the heritage sector’s umbrella organisation and advocacy body.

Location: central London/ homeworking
Salary: £36,000 FTE (Pro-rata 4 days per week; initial fixed term contract to the end of March 2025)

To apply: Please submit the completed application form with a covering letter outlining your reasons for applying for the post to Dr Mike Heyworth, HEF Team Leader, at

Closing date: 12 noon, 8 December 2023
You can view the Full Job Description here.

For an informal chat about the post prior to applying, please do contact Dr Mike Heyworth on

Skills Resilience: an Interview with Fleur Gordon, Head of Skills & Crafts at the National Trust

As part of the Skills theme of our Sector Resilience Interview series, we heard from Fleur Gordon, Head of Skills & Crafts at the National Trust, all about the Trust’s Specialist Crafts Centres and how they are working to sustain longer-term expertise in heritage skills.
Read on to find out more.
Fleur, tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the heritage sector.

I’m the National Trust’s Head of Skills & Crafts, focussing on developing long-term self-sufficiency of professional, technical and craft skills for the Trust, as well as growing external partnerships in order to share development opportunities and foster heritage skills training.

Founded in 1895 the National Trust is the largest conservation charity in Europe and our charitable purpose remains the same – to provide nature, history and beauty for the nation. With approximately 29,000 buildings, including 500 significant country houses, castles and mansions, in our care, the Trust’s strategic ambitions include:

  • ‘Looking After’ – we will care for our places and give them a sustainable future,
  • ‘Growing Support’ – we will give people more opportunities to get involved and support our work,
  • ‘Curation and Experiences’ – we will make sure our places keep evolving, attracting and inspiring people
  • ‘People and Resources’ – we will be an inclusive, welcoming and sustainable organisation
What can you tell us about the National Trust’s Specialist Crafts Centres? What do they aim to achieve?

The Trust’s 10 Specialist Crafts Centres were established in 2022, with the Vision:

‘to create recognised centres of excellence for the provision of crafts skills across the National Trust, preserving and championing traditional skills and developing new and existing talent to provide the highest level of care for our buildings and engagement with our supporters.’

Our Specialist Crafts teams provide stonemasonry and joinery/carpentry specialisms and work regionally, supporting our more significant places. They form a national community of skilled building conservation professionals, collaborating and sharing good practice.

The Centres also support the Trust’s Heritage Skills Apprenticeship Programme, which started in 2022. We currently have 13 joinery and stonemasonry apprentices, with ambitions to host more. The apprentices are mentored by, and work with, our Specialist Crafts teams. Each apprentice will benefit from a post-apprentice year with the Trust to further embed their skills

An image of a map of England and Wales, showing the locations of National Trust Specialist Crafts Centres. The locations mentioned are Fountains Abbey, Dunham Massey, Clumber Park, Hardwick Hall, Attingham, Park Farm, Lacock, Montacute, Cotehele and Lanhydrock
What contribution will this make towards the resilience of the heritage sector?
  • develops and supports the new talent pipeline in heritage skills
  • promotes cultural heritage & demonstrates the Trust’s commitment to conservation
  • raises the profile of building crafts to wider audiences, so more young people consider it as a career.
  • Increases the diversity of participants by providing opportunities for hard-to-reach communities to engage with heritage skills and learn about traditional building techniques.
  • encourages diverse audiences to benefit from the skills and expertise of the Specialist Crafts teams, by providing opportunities for people from under-represented backgrounds to become involved with building conservation
  • using the Centres as a vehicle to deliver wider building conservation upskilling.
What does success look like for your work? How do you plan to measure this?
  • Successful apprenticeship programme – mapping apprenticeships delivery against KPIs, including recruitment from diverse groups to improve young peoples’ opportunities and retention in the industry.
  • Good quality engagement – involving conservation in action, training, providing CPD, outreach with young people (including schools and educational institutions and offering placements).
  • Measuring outcomes via feedback from participants, growing diversity of audiences and assessing impacts on people and communities.
Where can we find out more?

We’re in the process of creating a Linkedin page for the Trust’s Specialist Crafts, but in the meantime I’m often posting about our Specialist Craft teams on Linkedin.

You can also hear from one of our apprentices, here.

Overall, what do you think is most crucial for ensuring a resilient heritage sector?

Appropriate resourcing – having people with passion, skills and expertise who, with the right capacity support, can improve lives and communities through heritage.

This Sector Resilience interview was shared by Fleur Gordon as part of our Heritage Sector Resilience Plan activities. 

If you’d like to contribute an interview as part of the series, follow the link below to find out more:

Sector Resilience Interviews – Historic Environment Forum

Historic Environment Forum receives funding new award from Historic England

The Historic Environment Forum (HEF) is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a grant from Historic England to continue its collaborative action and sector Task Group activities. This renewed funding will support the HEF’s core secretariat functions and proactive project work, enabling Historic Environment Forum members to continue to work in partnership for the benefit of England’s historic environment sector.

Thanks to this generous funding, the Forum will be working together on a range of activities over the next 18 months, including:

·         Planning and convening new Task Group activity to respond to sector priorities

·         Continuing to facilitate proactive, cross-sector delivery of the Heritage Sector Resilience Plan

·         Looking at opportunities to work with wider partners and continually improve HEF’s inclusive practices

·         Continuing HEF’s role as reference group to DCMS’ Heritage Council and working closely with key partners on sector insights

·         Inputting into ongoing sector work on Heritage Counts.

We are thankful to Historic England for supporting Forum activities, to the Heritage Alliance for hosting the HEF project team on behalf of the wider Forum membership, and to all members of HEF for their continued in-kind contributions and commitment to the Forum’s collaborative goals.

Keep in touch with the latest news from the HEF by following us on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

Historic Environment Forum Launches the Historic Environment Overview 2022-23

The financial year 2022-23 was another year of challenge and opportunity for the historic environment sector. As the sector continued to respond and adapt to the longer-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also grappled with the uncertain economic landscape brought about by the war in Ukraine, ministerial and machinery of Government changes, and the growing risks presented by climate change.  But as this edition of the Heritage Environment Overview demonstrates, there has also been much to celebrate and reflect on over the course of 2022- 23. It has been a year of milestones: from the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall to the 20th anniversary of The Heritage Alliance, from the Council for British Archaeology’s national youth consultation to the new project partnership made between Age-UK and Historic England. Across the year – and despite operating in difficult circumstances – the sector has shown up and provided opportunities for people to learn, experience and benefit from England’s historic environment.

The Historic Environment Overview 2022-23 is a Heritage Counts product. This year’s edition has been produced by the Historic Environment Forum with support from the National Trust and Historic England.

2022 Year in Review

With 2022 drawing to a close, it’s time to look back at what we have achieved this year.

Watch our Year in Review below.

If you need Alternative Text for the infographics in this video, please visit the following link:


Historic Environment Forum meetings have continued to be a place for strategic collaboration and discussion on some of the important issues affecting the Heritage sector this year – we’re grateful to all members for investing the time to engage in these discussions. 

In June, HEF members also met for our annual Foresight Day, where we took stock of recent sector challenges and looked ahead to priority areas for collaboration in the future. Our Foresight Day report for 2022 can be viewed here.

This year, the Historic Environment Forum also look ownership of producing the Historic Environment Overview with the support of Historic England and the National Trust, as well as input from across our membership and beyond. Revisit the 21/22 report here. 

Task Groups

Our HEF Task Groups have also been busy this year working on both sector Resilience and Sustainability and Climate Change goals – here are a few highlights from our Task Group work:

  • This summer, the Resilience Task Group launched the Heritage Sector Resilience Plan, a roadmap to support the sector become more robust in 5 key areas: Skills; Diversity & Inclusion; Climate Change; Strong Governance & Embedding Heritage in Wider Policy. The HEF team and members of HEF are now working towards a Programme of Action to support the delivery of these target actions into the new year and beyond!


  • Our Sustainability & Climate Change Task Group has also made great progress this year, including running a series of webinar sessions aiming to support the sector on its path to Net Zero.


  • Task Group members took part in the Speakers for Schools Heritage Panel webinar in the spring, which provided insight on Heritage climate action and career advice, reaching over 300+ 14–18-year-olds.


  • In November, we launched the HEF Sustainability & Net Zero Resource Page, bringing together all the material shared during TG sessions, including:
    • The HEF Net Zero Resource List
    • The HEF Net Zero Guide
    • Webinar Recordings
    • Presentation Slides.


Our comms work has also grown this year, with an increase in social media followers across the board and some great #HeritageChats held over the year! Thank you to all followers old and new for your continued support.

We look forward to continuing our collaborative work with HEF partners into 2023 and beyond. Thank you to all HEF members for your time and support over the course of the year. Season’s Greetings!

HEF News Archive