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Education and awareness

A central part of heritage conservation is a strong educational and awareness raising programme.


Clare County Council has worked with stakeholders and schools to develop multiple positive and beneficial projects which have deepened the connection and understanding of our heritage across Clare. The Clare County Heritage Plan 2017-2023 aims to create awareness and understanding, leading to a greater appreciation and ownership of the natural, built and community heritage.

Clare County Council are actively involved in raising awareness and providing training to their own staff, other agencies, members of the public on heritage topics such as biodiversity, building conservation and traditional skills. Clare County Council's Heritage Officer, Architectural Conservation Officer, Environment Awareness Officer, and other staff members are very active in this area and are supported by the Rural and Community Development Officers (RCDOs) within the Rural Development Directorate.

Ongoing promotion and awareness of biodiversity takes place annually during Heritage Week and Biodiversity Week, and through the Clare Irish Community Archive Network (ICAN). Local heritage training courses have also been run as part of the Reading the Local Landscape project in partnership between Clare County Council and Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB).

Clare County Council also supports An Taisce's 'Green Schools' programme led by the Clare County Council's Environment Awareness Officer, promotes student-led actions for the environment, including themes and projects specific to biodiversity.

Image of religious monument in County Clare


National Heritage week

National Heritage week, an initiative by the Heritage Council, brings together communities, families, organisations, cultural institutions, academics and enthusiasts, to showcase their work and heritage projects while build awareness about the value of heritage and its conservation.   In County Clare, the programme is co-ordinated by Clare Heritage Officer.   Heritage Week takes place on the last week of August, before children return to school.

The Clare Education Centre

The Clare Education Centre, supports the in-service needs of Clare teachers and to support locally identified needs and has, in collaboration with Clare County Council and the Clare Heritage Officer. 

Heritage in schools scheme

The Heritage in Schools Scheme provides a panel of 160 Heritage Specialists who visit primary schools throughout the country. The Specialist's areas of expertise range from bats to whales, from Vikings to the history of bread, from storytelling to traditional dance, and from charcoal making to military heritage, to mention just a few. 

Heritage specialists in County Clare

There are a twenty-four heritage specialists based in Clare that are willing to visit schools, virtually or in-person, under the Heritage in Schools Scheme.  Find your Clare specialist Heritage in Schools website.

The resources provided here have been submitted by Heritage Experts, teachers or prepared by other educational organisations. The Heritage in Schools Teachers Resources  are both fun and educational and are designed to inspire and develop an appreciation and curiosity about Ireland’s wonderful natural and cultural heritage.

Wild teaching

Exciting and innovative developments in bringing nature to the classroom include the development of Wild Teaching - Cross-curricular Lessons Outdoors for Agoraphobic Teachers. 

Tidy towns

The Local Authority Pollinator Award supports the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and is sponsored by the Heritage Offices & Biodiversity Offices of Local Authorities across Ireland, in partnership with the National Biodiversity Data Centre. Over160 towns and villages have entered the Pollinator Award competition since 2016, comprising wonderful projects, each improving and creating much-needed habitats for biodiversity and pollinating insects.

The Tidy Towns Heritage Award has been sponsored by the Heritage Council to encourage a greater awareness of the value of our heritage to our quality of life and to sustainable economic development. Projects considered include:

• New buildings or modern refurbishment of older buildings.
• New public or commemorative sculptures.
• Amenity works and environmental improvements (includes seating)

Visit the Tidy Towns website to download and/or view a wide range of resources for making your town a better place.  Clare County Council has been collaborating with community groups such as Tidy Towns to alter working practices for management of public spaces for the benefit of Biodiversity. For example, Clare County Council work with more than 45 Tidy Towns Groups in the County to achieve Biodiversity objectives, sometimes with the benefit of Local Biodiversity Action Plans.

Clare community heritage projects

Across Clare, there are many community heritage projects, led by activists on the ground, who responding to their own love of place and the need for conservation, have delivered some of the most successful initiatives in the county.  To celebrate this work and to build on our awareness raising objectives, a community archive Clare Heritage has been developed as part of the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN). Clare Heritage is an online archive for communities in County Clare.  The community archives you can explore on this website are:

iCAN is a community project of the National Museum of Ireland which aims to encourage, support and equip communities in the creation of a community archive website, collecting, preserving and sharing their local history and heritage online.  To find out more, visit our sister site Clare Heritage   where you can explore many aspects of Clare’s heritage, including:

The Burrenbeo Trust is a charity that was founded in 2008.  It was set up to create greater appreciation for the Burren landscape.  Through need and demand it has evolved to widen that remit to landscapes beyond the Burren.

Bird watch Ireland

Bird watch Ireland are the largest independent conservation organisation in the country. The primary objective of Birdwatch Ireland is the protection of wild birds and their habitats in Ireland. This section deals with scarce and rare birds seen in Clare on a daily basis. The website encourages the public to report any sightings of birds from your locality. 

The Heritage maps viewer

The Heritage maps viewer is a web-based spatial data viewer which focuses on the built, cultural and natural heritage around Ireland and offshore.  Heritage Maps allows you to look at a wide range of built and natural heritage data sets in map form, much of which have never been accessible to the public before. Heritage Maps can be used to create customized maps, measure area and distance, identify points of interest and study local flora and fauna, as well as many other uses, both recreational and research based.  For more, visit the National Heritage week website.

Page last reviewed: 10/01/22

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Planning Department
Clare County Council
Áras Contae an Chláir
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Co. Clare
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