The Heritage Keepers Programme
We are now accepting applications from community groups and primary schools for Heritage Keepers.
The Heritage Keepers Programme is open to community groups and primary schools from all across Ireland. Your group or class will participate in 5 weekly workshops, each lasting approximately 2 hours.
At the end of the programme, your group or class will plan a project that promotes or preserves an aspect of your local built, cultural, or natural heritage. Heritage Keepers can also provide a grant towards completing this action.
You may also apply for an additional grant which allows your group or class to organise its own field-trip to a heritage site in your area. This grant can be put towards travel costs or the hiring of an expert to guide the trip.
All Heritage Keepers workshops will be workshops will be held online, apart from a number of schools in The Burren which will be delivered in person.
For more details please register for our information webinar on September 28th at at 7.30pm
Place Based Learning incorporates all of the elements of a place - its built, natural, and cultural heritage. It involves learning about the place, in the place, and for the place.
The Heritage Keepers programme is an exploratory journey through each group's own place, with the ultimate goal of enhancing each participant's sense of informed pride, ownership, and responsibility.
The elements of biodiversity, including flora and fauna, ecosystems and geological structures which make up your area.
The range of tangible and intangible heritage assets of a group or society that is inherited from past generations.
Historic man-made buildings and monuments with architectural, archaeological, cultural, political, or social significance to your area.
Become a Sponsor
The Heritage Keepers Programme is run by Burrenbeo Trust, a charity based in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Heritage Keepers needs financial support every year to continue its transformational programme with community groups and schools all over the country. If you would like to donate to Burrenbeo, please donate here, and your donation will be used to help keep all Burrenbeo Trust programmes going. If you would specifically like to donate to the Heritage Keepers Programme, please contact us at email@example.com or 091-638096.
Did you know that Heritage Keepers is run by Burrenbeo Trust, who also have a team of Conservation Volunteers in the Burren? If you would like to volunteer for beach clean-ups, archaeological digs, graveyard recording, seed collection, or scrub clearing, not to mention the community spirit and shared experiences, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I guaranteed a place on the HK programme if I send an Expression of Interest?
Unfortunately we are limited by capacity so we will not be able to deliver the programme to everyone that expresses interest. As long as you meet the basic criteria your school or group will be eligible and random selection will then take place to choose the participants. We are hoping that the programme will be made more widely available year on year.
I’m an individual, can I take part in HK?
In this instance we are working only with primary schools and community groups. Perhaps you could try and get a local community group involved and take part with them? Or set up your own local group! Note that groups need a minimum of 6 members.
How much does it cost?
There are absolutely no costs for participation in HK. If there are costs associated with actions which participants wish to take there may be funds available for this.
When will the programme begin?
We will begin delivery in late Autumn/early Winter 2023.
What link is there to curriculum?
Place-based learning is not an additional element to the existing curriculum, rather it is a method of delivering the curriculum.
For primary schools, the activities and skills in HK very clearly address elements of the SESE and SPHE curricula as well as having potential application to the Arts Education and Primary Language curricula. A research project conducted by Burrenbeo Trust outlined the strands and strand units which can follow a place-based approach, more details are available on this document.
Heritage Keepers also has the potential to address many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly 3: Good Health and Well-being, 4: Quality Education, 11: Sustainable cities and communities, 12: Responsible consumption and production, 13: Climate action, 14: Life below water, 15: Life on land and 17: Partnerships for the goals.
What is expected of my group / class if we take part in HK?
If selected to participate you will be expected to;
Commit to engaging in the workshops (five x 2-hour sessions)
Research, plan and complete a local action project
Look to create links with others within your community
Complete post HK feedback
What topics will the HK programme cover?
There are 5 modules in the HK programme through which participants will begin to explore the built, natural and cultural heritage of their area. Activities and resource sharing will provide a start point for discovering the many aspects of your local place and to identify meaningful local actions which could enhance these places for all.
The 5 modules are;
Introduction and My Place – this module will introduce participants to the HK approach. We will begin to consider the layers of your place, what you like or dislike about your place and the local assets which exist.
Culture and the past – using a variety of online resources we investigate what life was like in our place in the past. We learn about the legacy left by our ancestors; the stories and folklore, monuments and buildings.
Biodiversity and land use – the natural heritage which surrounds us all is the topic of module three. We look to identify the changes in land use and our local environments and think about what we can do to protect biodiversity locally.
The Future – having considered our places as they currently are, we look to the future and how we would like it to be. Initial ideas for action plans are discussed and a framework for moving them forward will be shared.
Planning for action - having taken a two week back, we look to finalise local action plans as well as discussing how to engage the wider community and sharing some inspiration from actions already taken.
What happens after the workshops finish, is that it?
No – that’s just the start! Once the workshops have been completed groups will work on their local action plans. The HK team will provide ongoing support and mentoring while you are working on the projects. It is hoped that projects will be showcased nationally and that groups from around the country will be able to come together to share their experiences and celebrate their achievements collectively.
Is there any recognition for the actions taken?
There will be a national award programme to recognise the actions carried out around the country.
A bit more about Place-based Learning and Burrenbeo's approach
The places where we live, work, socialise and play are a such big part of each one of us and our stories. We impact on these places and they impact us. But can we say that we really know our place and the many elements that make it unique?
Our places are made up of many layers – each place has its own unique history, geography, environment, culture and community which has shaped it over the years. Getting to know and experience the various aspects of our place and how they are interlinked can enhance our connection to that place, and the community that call it home.
Are there local monuments or historic places that we might learn more about or visit? How was our local landscape shaped - what are the significant land features or water bodies? What kinds of plants and animals share our place with us? Are there particular local customs and cultures and what is their origin?
The answers to all of these questions and much more are all part of what we call ‘place-based learning’ where communities can learn about their place, in their place, and for their place. Through a series of engaging and interactive activities we can learn together about our local heritage and environment and ultimately work together to carry out actions which can safeguard and enhance these unique elements of our place for the future.
Given the current urgency around the biodiversity crisis, climate change and community fragmentation, place-based learning is now more important than ever. We believe that local communities are the best stewards of their own places, with the proper support of course. Learning more about our places and their needs is the first step to building community stewardship, where communities and individuals feel empowered to take action locally to bring about real and meaningful change and action.
Supported by The Heritage Council and created by Burrenbeo Trust, who have decades of experience working with communities on place-based initiatives, the ‘Heritage Keepers’ programme is an opportunity for your community to learn more about your place and how you can work together to look after it, and each other.
Following a whole place, whole community approach, participants will be supported to explore and discover their local built, natural and cultural heritage. Working with school and community groups, the programme culminates in groups creating a PLACE plan to carry out a series of local actions which they will complete with support from Burrenbeo.
We hope you can be part of this wonderful journey of discovery!
For queries please contact email@example.com
Heritage Keepers is delivered in partnership with the Heritage Council and also supported by Wolters Rundreisen