And so far, the response has been quite incredible with the #HeritageTreasures hashtag trending at number one in the UK on Twitter on the campaign’s launch day.
Watching the entries being posted daily, what has really struck me is the amazing diversity of heritage that people have been enjoying and sharing.
We’ve seen families enjoying a ramble through Northern Ireland’s ancient woodlands, atmospheric pictures of Elvedon War Memorial at sunset, close-ups of stunning medieval alabaster statues at Nottingham Castle,; and unashamedly cute snaps of our native species including red squirrels and pine martens.
And to my mind, it’s that diversity that really goes to the very heart of what heritage is. It isn’t about preserving grand old things purely for their own sake – it’s about securing what people treasure from the past and want to share with people in the future.
Sharing a treasured memory is just as important as uncovering of an Anglo-Saxon hoard of gold.
Investing for future generations
For more than twenty years, the Heritage Lottery Fund has been investing money raised by National Lottery players in heritage projects with people at their heart. We don’t define heritage, we leave it to people to decide what they treasure and want to explore but we do insist that there has to be public benefit.
And we’re incredibly proud of what has been achieved.
We’ve helped create state-of-the-art museums with far-reaching and engaging collections; restored and opened grand houses, historic gardens, castles and places of worship; helped protect hundreds of native species of wildlife; preserved breath-taking landscapes; restored more than 800 public parks; and enabled millions of people explore all this and their own personal heritage.
Of course, our work is never done and we still have a job to do. And by sharing their heritage treasures with us, people have the opportunity to tell us directly what is important to them.
My personal heritage treasures are the derelict historic factories and industrial buildings, schools and hospitals all just waiting to be brought back to life. These everyday buildings are historically important and connect us with our past but they also have potential to deliver real economic benefits to people for the future. Alongside our vast array of natural species, that’s the kind of heritage that gets me excited.
The deadline for #HeritageTreasures submissions is Wednesday 8 February – we want to hear from you so do get involved.