Heritage Open Days: 10-19 Sept. 2021 - what did you discover?!

Take 5 with the Team

New year, new cycle in preparation! So what have we been up to in the ‘quiet’ phase of our annual festival, and what do we have planned for the year ahead? Well, ponder no further, grab a cuppa and a comfy chair, let’s take 5 and catch up.

Looking back…

After the festival we spent weeks sifting through several thousand emails and feedback forms (with the help of our friends at Decision House) to pull together the headlines from last year’s event. What’s the point of this?

Network stocktaking - some fab facts and figures from our anniversary festival!

Well, lots of reasons but mainly:

  • We learn what works and what we can do better.
  • The results demonstrate the impact and value of our extraordinary organisers’ work for their local communities and the wider heritage sector. This evidence helps us gain more support and more funding to move ahead ensuring more festival joy in future!

Planning ahead…

So with all that learning in mind, what's next for this year?

Building the network

Have we mentioned how important our local organisers are? How amazing?! Well, it cannot be said enough, and we are working more than ever to build and support their community network. The HODx taster days of training and networking will be back this spring but we also have an exciting new programme launching this year. The follow up to our past Unsung Stories commissions, a New Wave will be washing over the festival shores this year, watch this space for more news!

New festival spotlight

We’ve just formally announced this year’s festival theme … drumroll please…. get ready to celebrate… Hidden Nature! In a society ever more aware of the impact we’re having on the environment around us it is a timely spotlight and also builds on the work we’ve been doing in the last few years to highlight the breadth of our heritage. Our natural heritage isn’t just a completely separate strand though, it goes hand in glove with our built heritage, for what are those beautiful churches made from, why are the castles sited on hillsides, what creatures are creeping beneath our feet in the caves and passageways? This year we’ll be inviting you to come outside and explore these questions and more!


Look again - two of your team wave hello in beautiful Bristol, where we were meeting up with the fab Bristol Doors Open team

As well as our office being refurbished, our team has also had a bit of a polish: same faces but refreshed roles, ready for new challenges! We’re always a smaller crew in the winter months of reflection and planning but already we’re preparing to expand again: applications are open now for our Head of Comms role, and we’re preparing the ground for our all important volunteer opportunities too.  

That’s all for now, we're planning more travels and posts to discover more stories and spread the word so see you on down the road soon!