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  • Weekly update (3 July 2020)

    Posted on July 3, 2020
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    This is a short update as Alex has just put together our usual monthly newsletter, which I hope you all receive.  (If not, do sign up for these on our homepage!)

    I also hope you got our impact survey earlier in the week – if you didn’t, you can access it here via this Survey Monkey link – or drop me a line and I can send you further information.  We’re keen to get as full a picture as possible of the global impacts of COVID-19 on the INTO family and really welcome your participation!

    Here is an article by Karin Taylor about the impacts of COVID-19 on Fiji.  Karin spent time with the National Trust for Fiji on a TAP-INTO project earlier in the year in her role as Head of Planning for the National Trust of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  “The recovery of the tourism sector is vital to Fiji’s economic recovery following the pandemic”, she writes.  “And planning will have a fundamental role to play in how that happens.  There are already signs of pressure to encourage economic recovery through development and new infrastructure”.

    Please let us know the impacts of COVID-19 on your organisation through our short survey.

    Reciprocal Visiting

    This week, two INTO members agreed a new bilateral reciprocal visiting arrangement!  Working at pace after the relaxation of quarantine restrictions, Manx National Heritage and the National Trust for Guernsey signed a new deal which allows each other’s members to visit for free.  Sounds like some inter-island summer holidays coming up!

    It was lovely too to see so many volunteers out in force, raking the NTG’s wild orchid meadow.  I wonder whether other INTO members have seen increased interest in outdoor volunteering this year?

    And don’t forget to join our wider discussion on reciprocal visiting on 14 July.  (Scheduled for 12 noon current UK time – Please use this link to attend.)

    7 Historic Civil Rights Sites

    Here’s an uncompromising article by Brianna Rhodes, the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Fellow for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  She writes: “Activism and protests are not new to the history of the fight against racism. Leaders from the Civil Rights Movement paved the way for those who are amplifying their voices today, and significant sites across the country such as A.G. Gaston Motel and 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, continue to tell the narrative of why all Americans should continue to fight for equal treatment.

    So much of our heritage is steeped in the remnants and history of slavery.  As we all try to ensure we tell the whole story, here’s an article from Edmund Southworth of Manx National Heritage about the island’s role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  And a moving film installation at Newstead Abbey (non-INTO) here in the UK.  Made by a local Slave Trade Legacies group, it highlights the property’s link to slavery wealth.

    Reopening across the world

    Wonderful to see so many more new places opening to the public around the world this week.  From Clendon House in the very north of North Island where Heritage New Zealand tells the story of tenacious Jane Clendon, widowed at 34 with eight children – to Robert Adam’s 18th century clifftop masterpiece of Culzean Castle, looked after by the National Trust for Scotland.

    Special content for members

    On a recent webinar with the NTEWNI, we heard about the importance of digital programming to build engagement and retain membership over the summer.  This transition phase will focus on:

    • Developing deeper value and a feeling of exclusivity, such as sneak previews for members of ‘hidden’ web content (like the Mottisfont video below, which was very successful)
    • Online content to inspire and enrich visits (additional information and activities that can be downloaded before or after a visit)
    • Optimising content and putting the right stuff on the right channel (such as behind the scenes videos)
    • Aligning with reopening to overcome capacity problems

    The Great Summer Staycation will feature heavily, and content will be based on topics they know work, like going somewhere to unwind, learn, read a book, play.

    Canadians love their heritage!

    Canadians see their local historic places as badges of pride that reflect our nation’s diverse history and culture,” says Natalie Bull, executive director at the National Trust for Canada and INTO Trustee.  The new study, Canadians and Heritage Places, reveals widespread support from Canadians for the preservation and celebration of the country’s many heritage places, historic sites and traditional neighbourhoods.  90 per cent of Canadians feel it is important to preserve heritage sites and historic places, with 64 per cent believing that heritage sites help present the country’s collective narrative.

    Europa Nostra Awards 2021

    Alex mentioned this year’s edition in the main newsletter, and our European members can apply for the 2021 Awards (until 1 October 2020).  Prizes are awarded under the categories of Conservation; Research; Dedicated service by individuals or organisations; and Education, training and awareness-raising.

    And in other news …

    Really nice to see this partnership between the Bermuda National Trust and the Department of Education. Over 350 primary school children have been involved in online lessons and virtual visits.   And in an article about this year’s Architectural Awards, Din l’Art Helwa say “while the COVID-19 pandemic has ground to a halt many people’s lives, the restoration and rehabilitation of heritage sites and their immediate environment have continued at ‘an increased’ pace”.  That’s good news, although I know they also have concerns about the rush to build a way out of the crisis.

    Stop press!

    I just had a lovely email from Lin Goncalves at the National Trust of Zimbabwe, in response to our June Newsletter!  She shared a fabulous story about her mother’s best friend, Rosie who was born on St Kilda in 1909.   Having been evacuated in 1930, she travelled to Kenya as a nurse after the war, eventually settling in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.  There’s much more to the story, which Lin is writing up into a biography.  Watch this space!   She did say that when Susie passed away, she was able to get Rosie’s ashes back to St Kilda with the help of friends from the National Trust for Scotland.

    And finally …

    I’m in love with Biscuit, Staff Morale Officer at the Argory, Northern Ireland!


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