COP26: Restating Our Position

With the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (or COP26) just around the corner (31 October – 12 November) and once again bringing the environmental crisis to the immediate forefront of political and public consciousness on an international scale, we believe this is an important opportunity to raise awareness of the role that heritage can and must play in fighting climate change.

What do we think COP26 should achieve?

  • VAT exemption for retrofit, to encourage maintenance of buildings and promote reuse
  • National and Local Policy should reflect the climate crisis, promoting sustainability as a public benefit and removing permitted development rights for demolition
  • Where justified, sustainability to come before heritage to build resilience in our environment against the climate crisis

Who are we?

  • A community of heritage professionals campaigning for change, declaring that we see the Climate crisis and wish to act to reduce our impact (About Us).

What we aim to do:

  • To shift conservation principles to being the norm, reuse and adapt rather than new build
  • Promoting open-source research and sharing case studies to help all gain a better understanding of the intersection between heritage and the environment
  • Rethinking heritage tourism, by rejecting approached that harm the environment and promoting low impact alternatives
  • Empowering practitioners through support, training, and resources.
  • Protecting our heritage skills base and advertising opportunities to the youth of today as a viable career choice. And in hand detoxifying conservation practice through reducing single use plastics etc.
  • Pursuing ethical finance, following transparent sponsorship and finance polices.

New opportunity: Graphic Designer

Heritage Declares is seeking a graphic designer to amplify our message and increase the number of signatories to the Declaration (Heritage Declares – Climate & Ecological Emergency).

This is a voluntary role, although expenses will be paid. The volunteer will be responsible for redesigning the Heritage Declares website and logo/branding across all digital platforms, developing creative and engaging new concepts and designs that communicate the Declaration and its message of environmental activism in the heritage sector.


  • Designing and producing a limited but bespoke range of digital materials including a website, presentation/communications templates, social media graphics, and graphics.
  • Creating visual illustrations, charts and infographics which effectively communicate the key messages.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate creative flair, have strong conceptual and design skills, and be committed to the purpose of Heritage Declares. You should have strong portfolio, showcasing a wide range of design outputs, as well as an excellent knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and good working knowledge of Microsoft Office. You may have experience of the following: Graphic Design, Artworker, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Designer, Adobe, Photoshop, Designer, Prints Designer, Creative Marketing, Digital Designer, Animations, Brand Marketing, Marketing Materials.

About Heritage Declares:

Heritage Declares is a non-affiliated group of heritage practitioners who have come together to urge the sector to react more quickly and effectively to the climate and ecological emergency.

In October 2019 we launched a Declaration, setting out ten principles for a more sustainable sector. We encourage both individuals and organisations to sign the Declaration, as an expression of their commitment to tackling the greatest challenge of our time.

We believe that the heritage sector can play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and action on climate and ecological issues – especially among sections of the public who are not naturally sympathetic to more familiar forms of eco-activism.

Heritage also has much to offer a more sustainable world, for example in terms of preserving and reusing existing buildings, promoting traditional and sustainable construction and land management techniques, and reducing air- and car-based tourism in favour of greener alternatives.

Heritage Declares is distinct from other sustainability initiatives within the sector in that we are a non-technical, grassroots movement that aims to push the environmental crisis to the top of the heritage agenda.

To apply please email, including your CV and examples of your work.

Volunteer Coordinators Meeting: Tuesday 1st December 2020, 7pm to 8pm

Since launching October 2020, we have gained over 220 individual signatories and nearly 40 organisations. We hope to develop a loose structure of Heritage Declares activists across the UK, and hopefully further afield, who can support each other in putting the principles of the Declaration into practice. Our model is one of active participation by all members, and not top-down governance.

For those who would like to be directly involved with organising for the Heritage Declares campaign, we will be holding a Volunteer Coordinators Meeting that aims:

  • to provide you with a greater background to and further details about the Heritage Declares initiative
  • to engage volunteers in determining and organising Heritage Declares’ activities going forward
  • to connect you with the current members of the Heritage Declares team as well as with other volunteers

If you would be interested in joining us, please RSVP to by Monday 30th November 2020. We look forward to meeting you!