Hidden Nature

Put on your wellies, grab your coat and step into the outdoors - our theme for 2020 is Hidden Nature. This year, we are turning our focus onto the natural world – and we’re asking you to join with us in celebrating our extraordinary natural heritage, from centuries-old trees to farmer’s fields steeped in history, from clifftop walks to urban oases and everything in between. Read on to find out more...

Why Hidden Nature?

Uncovering stories, sites, places and people that traditional history has overlooked or forgotten has always been at the very heart of Heritage Open Days. Our natural world, and the impact we have upon it, is as much a part of this as the rise of cities, famous battles and technological developments. In the face of climate change, modern development and other threats, now more than ever does nature need to be cherished and championed. That's why this year we want to encourage HODs organisers, volunteers and visitors to celebrate nature, in it's myriad forms, as part of the wider HODs festival.

What is Hidden Nature?

We want Hidden Nature to encompass the broadest possible spectrum of events, opening up areas of the countryside that aren’t normally accessible to the public and revealing the hidden history of not just our natural landscapes, but also gardens, green spaces, urban parks, orchards, vineyards, farms and forests. Nature isn't just found in the great outdoors and our theme could also give you the opportunity to explore the Hidden Nature within our urban spaces and buildings - from the animals that live within our walls and under our feet to the origins of the timbers in our roofs, the possibilities to connect with our natural world are endless.

Does my HODs event have to relate to Hidden Nature?

No - theming your event around ‘Hidden Nature is entirely optional. If you have other ideas, or the theme simply doesn’t appeal, that’s not a problem. As ever, we hope for the widest spread of events across the festival – some of which will be Hidden Nature themed, many of which won’t.

What's coming up next?

We believe nature is everywhere, but sometimes it can be challenging to find it! So we’re putting together a whole range of suggestions, tips, ideas for events and ways to explore the nature that lies hidden in your place. We hope to have this ready by the end of the January.

We'll also shortly be announcing some additional sub-strands to Hidden Nature, which will provide further opportunities for you to engage with the theme.