#HeritageChat was a monthly Twitter chat for the historic environment sector. 

#HeritageChat was born as a means of widening Heritage2020 programme’s consultation process. In 2020, it became an opportunity for HEF to engage in a conversation with the wider sector. #HeritageChat closed in 2022, but you can explore all past conversations in our #HeritageChat archive.

We look forward to sharing news about our new engagement activity soon!


#HeritageChat November 2022 – Heritage Priorities: the long-term view

In November 2022, #HeritageChat partnered with HEF member The Heritage Alliance for a discussion on what issues will matter most for the sector in the short and long-term future.

The chat explored various themes across the week, linking across to some of the priorities identified by The Heritage Alliance as part of this year’s Heritage Debate.

Around 39 Tweets were shared as part of this #HeritageChat, including links to key materials for the sector such as the Historic Environment Forum’s new Sustainability & Net Zero Resource Page.

You can look back at the full conversation by viewing the collection of Tweets on Twitter here.

#HeritageChat October 2022 – The Historic Environment on Film, TV & Other Media

In October 2022, #HeritageChat examined the relationship between the Historic Environment and film, TV and other media. Our #HeritageChat co-host this month was archaeologist, film maker and British Archaeology TV columnist Greg Bailey. The chat explored various themes across the week, from the portrayal of real-life heritage professionals on film, to the impact heritage related documentaries can have on encouraging public participation. Around 120 Tweets were shared as part of this #HeritageChat, including links to articles, podcasts, and sector publications. 48 participants also took part in our end of chat poll, voting TV documentaries as the number one choice for discovering information about the Historic Environment.

The chat had a lively start to the week, with participants discussing both the pros and cons arising from stories from our sector being featured in major films. Mid-week, the chat debated all things TV archaeology, and towards the end of the week we touched on filming in historic places and how associations with film and TV can add to the history or ‘mythology’ of a place.

 You can look back at the full conversation by viewing the collection of Tweets on Twitter here.

#HeritageChat September 2022 – Learning Legacies for Young People & Educators

In September 2022, we launched our first ever week-long #HeritageChat. The chat ran from Monday 26th – Friday 30th September, allowing participants to pitch in their ideas and reply to the questions at any time throughout the week. The topic of discussion this month was ‘Learning Legacies for Young People & Educators’. We offered a series of themed questions each day, all exploring sector experiences when it comes to providing or accessing heritage education opportunities for Under-18s.

The chat was co-hosted by Oxford Archaeology, the project leads for the Archaeology Legacy Project, and we were particularly interested to learn more about technological innovation in heritage education.

Participants shared information on what programmes and resources they or their organisations offer to support educators; insights on what methods they believe work well; thoughts on what more the sector can do to support learning; and what factors should be considered when designing and evaluating successful resources.

Around 90 Tweets were shared as part of this #HeritageChat, including links to articles, blog posts, online learning experiences and even a review of #HeritageChat. 

Tou can look back at the full conversation by viewing the collection of Tweets on Twitter here

#HeritageChat July 2022 – Heritage Futures

In July 2022, #HeritageChat discussed Heritage Futures. Our chat partners for this month’s session were Dr Leila Papoli-Yazdi and Dr Emily Hanscam, Researchers from the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures.

1.What assumptions do we often make about heritage and its relationship to the future?

2.Historical legacies are what we construct and leave behind; which historical legacies do you think will benefit future generations the most?

3.How might the challenges we face today impact on the future of heritage?

4.What lessons can future generations learn from heritage?

5.How can the heritage sector be more future thinking?

This was an engaging topic and contributors thoughtfully discussed the range of assumptions we make when we consider what the historic environment will be like in the future. Climate Change was recognised as an overarching challenge that will impact on the future of heritage. Contributors shared knowledge, research and foresight theories, and put forward ideas about how the sector can continue to be future oriented.

You can read the summary of the chat in our Twitter collection here.

Read more about the work being done by the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures here.


#HeritageChat June 2022 – Citizen Science

In June 2022 #HeritageChat discussed Citizen Science in heritage. Topics covered in this chat included engaging citizens in project planning, ensuring data quality and making citizen science projects inclusive.


This was a quieter chat, but participants thoughtfully considered when and how to best engage citizens in heritage projects. A key suggestion was to ensure community partners are scoped out and engaged from the outset. Participants also discussed managing public expectations. Some case study examples and resources were shared about data collection quality and consistency. It was thought that citizen science heritage projects can be a popular and engaging activity, where children are also able to take part, enjoy and learn from collecting data. It was acknowledged that further work could be done in making citizen science in heritage more inclusive, and participating organisations shared their plans to grow in this area.

You can read the summary of the chat here.

#HeritageChat May 2022 – Heritage Skills

In May 2022 #HeritageChat discussed Heritage Skills. The chat was co-facilitated by Victoria Wallworth (National Historic Ships UK) and Prof. Ian Baxter, chairs of the Skills, Education & Engagement Advocacy Group at The Heritage Alliance (HEF member). This topic is important to HEF, in fact it will be part of the forthcoming Heritage Resilience Plan, and it is tackled by a specific topic group, the ‘Heritage Skills Demand Group’.

Participants discussed issues related both to the supply side of the topic (e.g. traditional skills training, digital upskilling, professional routes in higher education) and to the demand side. Thanks to all the participants!

You can read the summary of the chat here.


#HeritageChat Archives

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

To view the #HeritageChat archive, click here.