#HeritageChat is a monthly, one-hour Twitter chat for the historic environment sector. It is run on the third Tuesday of the month, 13.00-14.00, from the handle @HeritageChat and uses the tag #HeritageChat so that participants can keep track of the conversation.

We are carrying out a short survey to improve #HeritageChat – please fill the form: It will take 2-3 mins and your opinions and experience will help us shape the future of #HeritageChat!

The next #HeritageChat will take place on Tuesday 15th June, 1-2pm as usual. 

The topic of June’s #HeritageChat is ‘Reopening Heritage‘. Our aim is to understand what worked well, what are the challenges and how this can help the organisations that still have to reopen. The questions which will be discussed are: 

  1. If you have recently visited a heritage venue since reopening, what were the most positive aspects of your visit?
  2. If you work in a heritage venue that has reopened, what feedback are you receiving from visitors after the pandemic?
  3. What worked well in your plans for reopening and are you experiencing any particular challenge(s)?
  4. What kind of support do you think you need for your staff & volunteers in this period?
  5. Do you have any good advice for those heritage sites that still have to reopen?
  6. Do you expect increasing visitor numbers in the coming months and how confident are you that these figures will be realised?

Please get in touch with Francesca if you want to suggest a topic for one of the next #HeritageChats. You can lead the chat or we can lead it for you! 

How to take part

Follow @HeritageChat. On the day of the chat, get online and search #HeritageChat on Twitter to keep track of the tweets (we suggest to filter by ‘latest’, rather than ‘top’). We will share the agreed questions one by one (they will all start with Q1, Q2, etc. and include #HeritageChat so you will see them in your filtered feed). You can reply to the questions and it’s helpful if you make reference to the questions in your answers, using A1, A2 etc. at the beginning of your tweet. Please remember to include ‘#HeritageChat’ in your tweets to take part in the chat. If you can’t take part during the live #HeritageChat, you can tweet your answers later in the same day and your answers will be recorded in our summary.

Do you need a diary scheduler to remember when #HeritageChat takes place? Download it here for Outlook and for Google calendar!

If you want to suggest a topic and/or to run a chat, please email us at HEFsteering@theheritagealliance.org.uk. If you want to be informed of the next #HeritageChats, subscribe to our newsletter!

#HeritageChat June 2021 – Reopening Heritage

June’s #HeritageChat focused on ‘Reopening Heritage‘, as many heritage venues and museums reopened (with capacity adapted to social distancing measures) in Step 3 of the Government Roadmap. ‘Reopening’ is also one of the main themes of the Heritage Recovery Plan, prepared by Historic England with and on behalf of the Historic Environment Forum. This chat was led in collaboration with Mike Heyworth, manager of the HEF Covid Task Group. 

Participants shared thoughts on: the positive aspects they noted when visiting a heritage venue since reopening, the feedback that venues and museums are receiving from visitors, lessons learned and challenges, further support needed for staff and volunteers, good tips to share with other heritage venues that still have to reopen.

You can read the full summary of the chat here.

#HeritageChat May 2021 – Future Innovation Challenges for Heritage

What does ‘innovation’ mean today in heritage? What challenges may be tackled through innovation? May’s #HeritageChat explored these topics, in collaboration with the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Young Foundation. as part of a new research and development project. The chat built on the results of a series of workshops run by NLHF and The Young Foundation, and the responses shared in the chat will be included in their ongoing analysis.

The chat wanted to encourage ‘blue skies thinking’ in relation to innovation and collaboration in the sector. It started by exploring the ‘distribution’ of innovation in the last years, through the identification of the areas where heritage innovation energies have been concentrated over the last five years. Then, participants were asked to share case studies of effective collaboration between different parts of heritage (HEF is a successful example!) and of the adoption of innovations from beyond heritage. Participants shared thoughts on how to move forward, and on what would they need to innovate in their work. The chat concluded with a forward-looking question on future challenges in the next ten years. Read here the summary of the chat.

#HeritageChat April 2021 – The Future of Volunteering

In April 2021 #HeritageChat focused on ‘The Future of Volunteering‘, an vital topic for many organisations in the heritage sector. This topic was suggested by Michelle Cook, a young professional, who helped us lead the chat. 

Participants shared thoughts on: the current and future challenges for heritage volunteering; how to sustain it now and in future, making it more beneficial, fair and inclusive; volunteering as learning opportunity; how to improve the connection between local communities and heritage sites/museums through volunteering.

You can read the full summary of the chat here.

#HeritageChat March 2021 – Local Heritage & Local Listing

In March 2021 #HeritageChat provided an opportunity to talk about ‘Local Heritage & Local Listing’, an important topic considering:


The chat was led in collaboration with the Council for British Archaeology, with Neil Redfern (Executive Director) participating.

Participants lively debated topics such as: how to facilitate a meaningful participation of local communities; what criteria should be considered; what level of protection should be granted to locally listed assets; what role the LPAs should have, and what are the main issues they may face.

You can read the full summary of the chat here.

#HeritageChat February 2021 – Funding & Fundraising in the Heritage Sector

February’s #HeritageChat provided an opportunity to talk about ‘Funding & Fundraising in the Heritage Sector’, a timely topic for the sector and one of the outcomes set out in our Strategic Framework. The chat was led in collaboration with Tricolor Associates, and we shared some tweets from Martin Kaufman.

Participants debated topics such as: what funding opportunities are missing from the current offer for the sector; suggestions on how to make funding application easier for small heritage organisations, the impact of Covid-19 and the opportunities of the Culture Recovery Fund; digital crowdfunding; successes in how funding has enabled organisations to improving diversity; funding for progression in the heritage sector in 2021.

You can read the full summary of the chat here.

#HeritageChat January 2021 – Historic Environment & Climate Change

We devoted our January’s #HeritageChat to ‘Historic Environment and Climate Change’. The chat provided an opportunity to explore how our sector can become more ‘green’ and mitigate the impact of climate change at a local level. Participants also discussed how to bring relevant climate change research and heritage management practice closer together. Participants shared tips and experiences on how to improve monitoring and evaluation of climate change mitigation or adaptation measures in heritage. Professionals acknowledge that our sector can support environmental progress, but participants explored how we can improve a wider understanding in an engaging way.

This chat, led by our COP26 Task Group Manager, will aid the work of the group, which aims to facilitate a joined-up, coherent approach to climate change and sustainability ahead of the COP26 event (Glasgow, November 2021). A full summary of the chat can be found here.

#HeritageChat was born as a means of widening Heritage2020 programme’s consultation process. It is now an opportunity for HEF to engage in a conversation with the wider sector, and to inform the work to reach the outcomes set in the Strategic Framework.

#HeritageChat is run by different people and organisations from the heritage sector, on a rolling monthly basis. The theme is selected by that month’s host. These ideally relate to one of the priority areas set out in our Strategic Framework.
All topics should seek to strengthen partnerships and collaborative working in the historic environment sector.
The host puts out an open call for questions a couple of weeks in advance of the scheduled #HeritageChat, and selects around six-eight questions for use in the session. The questions are published as the programme for the chat session a few days before the chat itself.
During the chat, the organiser tweets the questions from @HeritageChat using a format that allows participants to respond to each question. Questions, answers and discussion are all tagged #HeritageChat during the conversation so everyone can follow the thread. The chat is recorded via Tweetdeck, and the summary is published here, in our website.

We want to connect HEF with historic environment sector organisations more widely than through the current working groups.

We want to provide new opportunities for the sector to contribute to our Strategic Framework, and for us to disseminate our resources.

We want to develop a network through which the sector can build and share the benefits of collaborative working.

#HeritageChat Archives

Each month #HeritageChat will be archived on the HEF website.

To view the #HeritageChat archive, click here.