Wrest Park, along with all historic houses and heritage attractions, has been closed due to the lockdown © Historic England. N110192

Heritage Online Debate

These are the pages where conservation and heritage experts debate the topics uppermost in their minds. Read on for a lively exchange of views for and by those interested in understanding, presenting and caring for England's rich and diverse historic environment.

Number 10: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Heritage Sector

This edition of Heritage Online Debate examines the impact on the heritage sector of Covid-19 and the associated restrictions.

At the beginning of 2020, it would have been hard to imagine the effects we've seen unfolding across the globe in the trail of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the beginning of the lockdown restrictions in March, the impact on our cultural and heritage sectors has been immediate and severe.

Heritage businesses, offices and attractions are closed. Events, projects and works cancelled or postponed. Many organisations face an uncertain future.

Alongside these challenges, there have been some opportunities. Many have adopted new ways of working, communicating with each other and supporting our communities and sector.

The contributors to this edition offer an array of viewpoints on the threats and opportunities we are facing. They also outline the support they believe is required to help the sector through the current crisis.

We'll publish additional views alongside these articles over the coming weeks so look out for more updates.

Guest editor: Kate Guest, Senior Policy Adviser, Policy and Evidence, Historic England

The inclusion or posting by Historic England of any article does not necessarily imply a recommendation or an endorsement by Historic England of the views expressed within them.

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‘Waking Up’ Collections

Anni Mantyniemi at The Institute of Conservation reflects on the work to be done in order to revitalise the conservation sector as it reopens.

Virtual Reality: Promoting Continuing Professional Development During Lockdown

David McDonald, Chair of the IHBC, discusses the organisation’s response to Covid-19 and how it is supporting members.

Covid-19 Restrictions and Impacts on Commercial Archaeology

Rob Lennox at the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists describes the challenges presented by Covid-19 to the commercial archaeology sector.

Changing Behaviour Under Covid-19

Mark Powers, Technical Director at Waterman Infrastructure and Environment Ltd introduces the response of and impacts on the development sector.

Join the Debate: What You Told Us

We asked you: “What support do you think would help the heritage sector survive and recover from the Covid-19 restrictions?" Here's what you told us.

Is the ‘Small-Scale’ Perception of the Dimension Stone Sector Threatening Its Future?

Mark North, Mineral Products Association, highlights the opportunity during Covid-19 to help the UK building stone sector.

The Impacts of Coronavirus on the Natural Stone Industry

Marcus Paine, Stone Federation Quarry Forum Chairman, describes how the natural stone industry is reopening after the easing of restrictions.

Climate Change, Covid and Heritage

Hannah Fluck, Head of Environmental Strategy at Historic England, sets out the opportunities for climate change action post-Covid-19.

Coronavirus Brings Innovation and Hope to Canterbury

Jan Pahl, Vice President of the Canterbury Society shares an inspiring account of some of the positives to come out of the lockdown in Canterbury.

Working Together to Weather the Storm

Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston highlights the continued work happening across the sector and government to support organisations until recovery.

Natural England and Covid-19

Elaine Willett reflects on how Natural England are continuing with their work during the pandemic.

Cathedrals, Craft Training and Covid-19

Frances Cambrook of the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship, reflects on the impact of Covid-19 on the delivery of practical craft training in cathedrals.

From Foreshore to Armchair

Lara Band, Lead Archaeologist for the East Kent Coast Discovery Programme, shares inspiring work on engaging communities digitally during lockdown.

Loss in the Time of Corona

Tanya Venture, CDP PhD student with Historic England reflects on the ways in which the pandemic might affect our attitudes to the loss of heritage.

A View From the Home-Office: Heritage Consultancy During Covid-19

Marion Barter of Marion Barter Associates, highlights some of the challenges and opportunities of managing a business at home during lockdown.

Virtual Heritage, Lockdown and Opportunities: A View From Enfield Council

Sarah Cary from Enfield Council considers the challenges and opportunities facing local authorities in supporting their heritage and communities.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Rural Churches, Contractors and Professional Advisers

Ruth Blackman, Architect, describes how measures could be taken to restart work to maintain and repair places of worship.

Flour Milling in a Time of Coronavirus

The Traditional Cornmillers Guild describes how Covid-19 has had a major impact on small traditional mills of its members.

Will Covid Mean Collapse?

Anooshka Rawden (Cultural Heritage Lead, South Downs National Park) describes how the impact of Covid-19 has sent shock waves through the sector.

Navigating the Nadir

Emma Robinson (Director of Policy & Public Affairs, Historic Houses) presents the challenges faced by independent historic houses and gardens.

Visit Your Local Park, Protect the NHS, Save Lives

Helen Monger, Director at the London Parks and Gardens Trust, gives evidence for the important role of green spaces during the pandemic.

Digging in Isolation

Neil Redfern, Executive Director at the Council for British Archaeology shares the work the organisation is doing to support the sector.

The Churches Conservation Trust in Lockdown

Peter Aiers, Chief Executive of The Churches Conservation Trust describes the challenges and opportunities for the Trust.

MOD Archaeology and Coronavirus

Richard Osgood, Senior Archaeologist, Defence Infrastructure Organisation describes how DIO continues to work during the coronavirus outbreak.

People, Place and Time

Simon Headley, Historic Churches Support Officer reflects on the challenges of looking after church buildings in the current situation.

Industrial Heritage Sector: Adaptations in Light of Covid-19

Dr Michael Nevell, Industrial Heritage Support Officer for England, shares experiences from the industrial heritage sector.

Parks, People and a Pandemic

Ian Baggott, Managing Director at CFP, examines the findings of research to understand how park managers are responding to the pandemic.

Recent Heritage Online Debates

See what experts have been saying in recent issues of Heritage Online Debate. You can also find back issues of Conservation Bulletin here.