Improve a Heritage Site – Norwegian Heritage Foundation
“The Jury appreciates the pedagogical approach of engaged teachers with young schoolchildren on heritage sites, that otherwise would have been left over to degradation and neglect. By cleaning and clearing small scale landmarks in forests, fields and other rural areas, the next generation can be actively involved and is made aware of these treasures of their heritage, which may not seem outstanding on first impressions, but are nonetheless very significant for the cultural landscape.. The collaboration of schools with local authorities is an example of best practice at low cost that can be recommended to teaching institutions all over Europe.”
Since 2000 the Norwegian Heritage Foundation (NHF) has developed the project “Improve a Heritage Site”, a nationwide action project where groups of children and young people up to 18 years of age improve and rehabilitate a heritage site or cultural monument, making it accessible and spreading knowledge about it to others in the community. With this initiative, children and young people involved learn about cultural heritage in the vicinity of their home and take part in practical work, such as mending the heritage site, monument or cultural landscape, thus preventing it from being destroyed.
Since the implementation of the project, 1128 heritage sites have been rehabilitated. More than 22,500 children and young people have been involved in the improvement work, and about 160,000 hours have been spent in actual work at the heritage sites. Information about the heritage sites in the project has been spread to several hundred thousand people.