You have an important role in helping to care for our precious and diverse heritage. From recording insects in your garden to securing a local monument, you can play a big part in protecting and preserving our natural and historic legacy.
Choose your area of interest; we are happy to advise and support. Become a volunteer and have a say on the issues. Here are some interesting ways that you can become involved.
Attend an event
Events that celebrate our built, natural and social heritage are many and varied and include opportunities to learn, campaign, celebrate, support and play. For an event near (or far from) you check out:
- local and national newspapers;
- your parish newsletter, local radio and noticeboards;
- the heritage section of local authority websites, here on the Heritage Council website, and in August on the Heritage Week website.
Visit a site
Set a goal of visiting a local heritage site every week or month!
There are many sites of archaeological, architectural and natural significance in your area that provide the opportunity to discover how your ancestors lived, worked and played.
Online resources such as Significant Unpublished Archaeological Excavations, Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research [INSTAR] Programme and the National Monuments Service are a great starting point for identifying local monuments and archaeological heritage.
If you like adventure ... consider a heritage holiday. Live like your ancestors. Stay in a lighthouse, a gate lodge or a gazebo. Explore the Wild Atlantic Way or the Ancient East. There are any number of adventure activities for all ages and tastes.
Record the beauty that surrounds you
Help with nature conservation by observing and recording the wildlife you see in your garden or when you’re out and about. Report your findings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre to become a key resource in the documenting of our natural heritage.
Join a club, virtual or real, to learn and explore as part of a group. Historical and archaeological societies, music, language and walking clubs and online forums all play a part in developing ideas and raising awareness.
Start a heritage project
Preserving local heritage can involve planting a tree or adopting a neglected monument. Choose a subject you’re interested in, such as an archaeological or geological feature or a famous historical event and get your friends and family involved. Creating a community garden or pathway can involve an entire neighbourhood.
Be a voice for heritage. Get to know your local representatives and canvass their support for local heritage projects. Let your Councillors, TDs, Senators and MEPs know that you value your national heritage and that you expect them to offer support. Set up public meetings and invite them along.
Volunteer, support or donate
Local community efforts depend on people like you to carry out much of their work. You can make a valuable contribution by offering a little of your time. Simple things like using local businesses for your everyday shopping, adds to the local community. Subscribe and donate to organisations like Irish Seed Savers or An Taisce to help them continue their heritage work.
Funding your project
Setting up a heritage project can be costly depending on its circumstances and scale. The Heritage Council’s grants scheme provides funding support for certain types of projects relating to monuments, archaeological and heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens and parks and inland waterways. Your local Heritage Officer will be happy to provide you with guidance and to identify useful resources for making your project a success.