Advice: how to consider the environment in your heritage project

SWM has been working with the Heritage Fund for the past year to help them assess the sustainability credentials of the applications submitted to them for funding. As part of this, we have developed the below Top Ten Tips which outline our advice to applicants on what they should consider when writing their applications. The rest of this extract has been written by our partners Fit for the Future with whom we have been working to enhance our relationship with the Heritage Fund.

Top 10 tips for applicants

  • Do consider the whole life impact of the project. For instance, more visitors could lead to a greater generation of waste and use of energy.
  • Don’t go straight for big stuff! For example, improving energy efficiency through better lighting should be considered before you install solar panels.
  • Do bear in mind the impact your project may have during construction, such as noise pollution or impacts on local wildlife.
  • Do think about how staff and visitors can access your site. Can you direct them to local public transport links and build in provisions such as cycle racks?
  • The UK’s climate is changing already. This means it is important to ensure your project is resilient to future extreme weather, such as floods, extreme heat and drought.
  • Do mention in your application that you have, as a minimum, considered aspects of sustainability even if they are not yet possible to implement.
  • Don’t forget the boring bits – have you got adequate monitoring and reporting systems in place?
  • Sustainability is as much about the social impacts, such as encouraging a greater diversity of visitors, as it is about protecting and enhancing the environment. Our inclusion outcome is mandatory for all projects.
  • Do learn from other projects’ good practice before submitting your application. You can read case studies, engage with other organisations and seek advice from other successful applicants and members of our partners Fit for the Future network.
  • Do use your project to make the world a better place! Shout about the sustainability measures you will implement and encourage visitors to make their own changes.

Three quick green ideas

  • don’t use peat in planting
  • install bat roosts or nesting boxes
  • create wildflower areas rather than close-mown grass

Next steps

Find out more about what we expect from our projects in Fit for the Future’s environmental sustainability guidance.

Apply for Sustainable Project of the Year Award

Are you proud of your sustainable heritage project? Have you made innovative small steps – or great strides – towards reducing your project’s environmental impact? Why not enter the new Sustainable Project of the Year Award – closing date Friday 21 February.