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National Heritage Week 2017: It’s in your Nature

Niamh Donnellan of the Heritage Council
Written by: Niamh Donnellan
Heritage Week Project Manager


National Heritage Week is Ireland’s annual celebration of our natural, built and cultural heritage and takes place from 19 to 27 August 2017.  

Walking the mountains in Cork

This year National Heritage Week is focusing on Ireland’s natural heritage.  From urban wildlife tours to foraging walks to building bee hotels, it’s all about being active, having fun and getting involved with our natural heritage.

Coordinated by the Heritage Council, National Heritage Week is Ireland’s most popular cultural event and this year over 450,000 people are expected to participate in over 2,000 heritage events. 

National Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days which promote Europe’s common cultural heritage.  

Become an event organiser

Take a look at this list of 100 Event Ideas for inspiration. Why not plan a river walk, a woodland wander or maybe try to make your town more pollinator friendly? Each year, thousands of people plan National Heritage Week events in their towns or villages.

Over 75% of events are hosted by volunteers or individuals in small communities who champion Ireland's heritage in its many forms. This national celebration is a wonderful opportunity to learn about and enjoy your community’s natural heritage. 

Two very special days take place during National Heritage Week 2017. Wednesday 23 August is Wild Child Day and is dedicated to wild children everywhere so plan some special events for young people on this day.

The last day of Heritage Week will celebrate our most precious natural resource, Water, in all its forms from sea to rivers, lakes to garden ponds.

Michael Jacob leads a canal bank walk in Laois. Photo Michael Scully.
Michael Jacob leads a canal bank walk in Laois. Photo Michael Scully.


There are a number of goals which the Heritage Council asks you to consider when promoting and planning your National Heritage Week event.  Events should where possible

  • Encourage active participation and ‘doing’. This means provide opportunities to the public for real engagement in heritage education and conservation. 
  • Reach out to new audiences and make heritage accessible to all i.e. people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and young people.
  • Encourage volunteering and year-round engagement with Ireland’s heritage.

National Heritage Week will shine a spotlight on the challenges to our natural environment but also highlight the small changes that we can all make towards conserving it. The week promotes nature conservation and helps people understand how we can protect our endangered species and habitats.

It also shows how the work and commitment of local communities can encourage everyone to conserve nature, for themselves and for future generations.

Take a look at this preview video and be inspired!

National Heritage Week: 19-27 August 2017. For more information visit



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