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Culture 2000

European Union


Press Comments

Business & Finance, 06.06.2002

Heritage Council managing the Irish Landscape

Landscape is the primary material resource of Ireland. It is also a primary cultural and natural resource that contributes to the sense of place enjoyed by everyone in Ireland - and the millions of people who visit Ireland each year. This resource is coming under greater threat in Ireland today than at any other time.

The Heritage Council recognises the need to manage this cultural resource, and has made the development of a strategy for managing the landscape a priority. This has been facilitated through the establishment of the Landscape Working Party, which has had representation from government departments and agencies, local government, universities and stakeholder groups, This group commissioned the County Clare Landscape Characterisation, which led to the development of a policy document “Towards. Integrated Policies for Ireland's Landscape”.

Landscape characterization is the first stage of the process of landscape character assessment, in which landscape character is mapped, classified and described. The second stage is about making judgments about landscape to inform decisions or uses. Complementing this approach is Historic Landscape.

Characterisation, which aims to systematically capture the predominant historic landscape character of each land parcel in the modem landscape.

The Council is also involved in European collaboration involving twelve projects in ten countries (Germany, Sweden, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, England, Ireland and Wales), European Pathways to Cultural Landscapes, which is funded by the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union (see www.pcl-eu.de). The main goal of the project is to explore opportunities for public participation in their local cultural landscapes in poor areas of Europe, and to share experiences and approaches to the subject across the European Union. The Irish Project is a partnership between the Heritage Council and the Discovery Programme, applying Historic Landscape Characterisiation to a study area in the Irish midlands.

design: Kai M. Wurm
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