1995 – ar aghaidh

The Heritage Council recommends that the principles of shared ownership and shared responsibility for our landscape should be reflected in planning legislation which is both inclusive and participatory.

The Heritage Council recommends that the principles of shared ownership and shared responsibility for our landscape should be reflected in planning legislation which is both inclusive and participatory.


The Irish landscape is a living compendium of human and natural history, its character a testament to the lives and aspirations of countless generations. It has been our inspiration and is an essential part of our identity. The landscape sustains us in every way possible — it is both our inheritance and our gift to the future.

‘Landscape’ as described in the 1995 Heritage Act [PDF 96KB] includes areas, sites, vistas and features of significant scenic, archaeological, geological, historical, ecological or other scientific interest.

Aims and Objectives

Our vision is that the Irish landscape will be a dynamic, living landscape, one which accommodates the physical and spiritual needs of people with the needs of nature in a harmonious manner, and as a result, bring long-term benefits to both.

However, the accelerated pace of building and development witnessed over the last 20 years in Ireland has left a mixed legacy of successes and failures that we are going to have to live with for the foreseeable future.

The European Landscape Convention (ELC) offers an inclusive way of engaging with the landscape. Its starting point is the recognition of the multiplicity of ways in which the landscape supports human life.

The Heritage Council espouses the principle of shared stewardship of our natural and cultural heritage. Our experience has been that, equipped with reliable knowledge and support, local communities are more than capable of critiquing what they have around them and imagining, describing and delivering better futures for themselves and their children.

Their efforts and their vision deserve to be enshrined in local and regional planning. The case studies that we have sponsored, facilitated and partnered prove that this approach works and delivers quality communal landscapes that generate sustainable employment, social capital, community identity and functioning ecologies.

Real benefits are to be derived from co-operation, partnership, and co-ordination between all who impact on our landscape.


In November 2015, a workshop was held in Dublin to explore new developments in Landscape Character Assessment and ways of implementing the National Landscape Strategy.


Proposals for Ireland’s Landscapes 2010

This document reflects new ideas regarding how we might manage, plan and conserve Ireland’s landscape into the future. It is based on the work of the Heritage Council and many of its Irish and European partners in seeking, over a ten-year period, to promote the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ELC). The Convention offers us a new way of thinking about our landscape - one that places people, and their active participation in shaping their landscape, in a central position.

Landscape Character Assessment and the National Landscape Strategy - Presentation

The Irish Landscape Institute’s (ILI) President, Mary Ann Harris formally launched the South East Branch of the ILI on the evening of the 20th June 2012 at the Heritage Council’s Headquarters in Kilkenny. The inaugural branch event included a participative seminar given by Alison Harvey (Heritage Council Planning Officer) entitled ‘Landscape Character Assessment & the National Landscape Strategy’ which can be downloaded below.

Further information is available from the The Irish Landscape Institute, the professional body representing Landscape Architects in Ireland.

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A scheme to help communities become actively involved in the conservation and interpretation of their local archaeological and cultural heritage sites.

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