Tag Archives: Exeter

Creativity and Stewardship in Changing Landscapes

Mid-Cornwall’s china clay country has seen many changes over the last several hundred years, and it continues to change along with the clay industry and the surrounding communities. In dynamic landscapes like this, planning for the future while respecting the past and offering opportunities for community engagement can be challenging.

In early May, a diverse group of people gathered for a workshop at the Wheal Martyn Museum in St Austell to talk about the role of the Arts in landscape management and development activity in places like the china clay area. Artists, industry representatives, curators, academics, heritage practitioners, land managers and others spent three days talking about how creative perspectives can help reframe problems as possibilities, and suggest new forms of stewardship for transitional places.

Workshop participants continued their discussions in the field on visits to the Sky Tip, Littlejohns Pit and Blackpool Pit. Sean Simpson, Imerys Business Development Coordinator, and Chris Varcoe, who is working with Eco-Bos on the West Carclaze development, led the field trip and offered their inside perspective on some of the challenges and opportunities presented by the post-operational china clay landscape. Chris said: “Eco-Bos were delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussions that took place during the workshop, and to have the opportunity to share with the group its innovative proposals for the West Carclaze Garden Village.”

Workshop participants at Littlejohns Pit, Cornwall

The workshop was linked to the Heritage Futures research project, a four-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Professor Caitlin DeSilvey, of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute, is leading research into heritage and transformation. Sites beyond Cornwall include a rewilding project in Portugal and the ex-military site of Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast. Participants in the May workshop included Heritage Futures project partners from Portugal, as well as other international participants from Ireland and the United States.

Jo Moore, Wheal Martyn Museum curator, commented: “There was a real buzz from the group over the few days and everyone I spoke to clearly found them stimulating and really enjoyable.” The group produced a set of draft principles, which integrated perspectives from industry, heritage and creative practice.  For more information about the Heritage Futures project and the workshop outcomes, please contact Caitlin DeSilvey, .


Three tips on building a career in international heritage management

The University of Exeter is offering all new students enrolling on its MA International Heritage Management and Consultancy programme in September 2018 a £1,000 tuition fee discountRead more and apply now.

1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. What fields of heritage management are you interested in? Do you think you’d enjoy the practical, day-to-day elements of being a heritage consultant as well as the theoretical aspects of public history?

There is no set career path in heritage, which can be daunting for some, but liberating for others. I stumbled into heritage management because of my archaeological and anthropological work in southern Africa. My first degree was in history, and my MA was in Heritage and Museum Studies. Doing fieldwork and volunteering in countries outside of Europe not only gives you a taste of what it’s like to work with diverse groups – often with vastly different, and even sometimes irreconcilable worldviews – but it also helps you identify what you’re good at. This in turn will allow you to target specific companies and institutions within heritage sectors – both in the UK and abroad – when you are applying for jobs.

2. Network! I’d also thought I wasn’t cut out for networking. Surely all the big names in the heritage sector were fed up of overly-eager and recently-qualified graduates introducing themselves at events and sending emails asking about upcoming opportunities? It turns out, however, that most of the established experts who pull the strings (and often control the purse strings) are affable, approachable, and keen to meet new people – especially if they are passionate about their subject and heritage in general.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Heritage experts in the UK often know and collaborate with heritage experts overseas. If someone that is respected by colleagues endorses you, it’s likely that you’re more than half way to making it onto a future employer’s shortlist, whether in the UK or abroad.

3. Gain extra qualifications, and volunteer. In addition to courses like the University of Exeter’s new MA in International Heritage Management and Consultancy, volunteering is an excellent idea – especially because many of your competitors will likely have done the same. Volunteering – both in the UK and abroad – not only provides you with invaluable new experiences and a chance to identify your strengths and weaknesses, it also helps you expand your professional network. Most of all, working abroad is rewarding, and fun!

Written by Dr Jamie Hampson, Senior Lecturer in Heritage, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus