Heritage Open Days Returns

Dryad’s Saddle fungus from Great Turners Wood

England’s largest festival of history and culture will take place from 11 to 20 September 2020, and event holders can now register online.

Heritage Open Days brings together more than 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers annually. It’s a chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences, all for free.

For the first time, because of current social distancing measures, the programme will focus on virtual tours and digital experiences, meaning that communities will be able to celebrate the stories of the places and spaces that are important to them in new and innovative ways.

Lowfield Heath Windmill, Charlwood

Moving events online means that visitors can enjoy both local and national events from the comfort of their armchairs. Visitors can expect to take part in a range of digital activities, including virtual tours, online galleries, live-streamed talks and interactive workshops. All events will be hosted on Mole Valley District Council’s website.

Event holders are welcome to register live events taking place in venues and outdoor spaces, but will need to ensure that they adhere to the government’s social distancing guidelines at the time. Advanced booking should be required for these events, and visitor numbers limited, to help keep visitors and organisers safe.

Councillor David Draper, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “Every year we enjoy a range of events that celebrate Mole Valley’s rich and fascinating heritage. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can do this in exciting new ways online, while sharing the hidden gems in our district with a wider audience.

“The last few months have shown us that it is possible to create online cultural events that are engaging, entertaining and bring people together in times when we are having to stay apart.”  

This year’s theme, ‘Hidden Nature – Hidden Treasures’, offers an opportunity to discover the natural world and the built environment that exist on our doorsteps. Areas of the countryside that aren’t normally accessible to the public will be opened up and events will reveal the hidden history of not just our natural landscapes, but also gardens, green spaces, urban parks, orchards, vineyards, farms and forests. Events will also explore our architectural heritage and how it reflects our history and traditions.

The deadline for registrations is Monday 24 August, and event holders are asked to register as soon as possible to ensure they make full use of the guidance, support and promotional materials available.

To find out more about Heritage Open Days 2020, and to register an event, visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk. For advice on planning a Heritage Open Days event in Mole Valley, email planning@molevalley.gov.uk or call 01306 885001.

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