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Laois Heritage Plan needs kids’ input
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Laois Heritage Plan needs kids’ input

Laois Heritage Forum is writing a new Heritage Plan for County Laois and they are asking for help from children across Laois! They want the new plan to include the views of children and young people: what kids would like to see protected, what information they think should be gathered, and what kind of events they would to attend.

Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “At this difficult time when daily life has been disrupted and many of us are forced to stay distant from others, spending time in nature can really help to lower stress levels. Visiting a natural site, or a heritage site in your local area, and discussing it with your children, can really help them feel grounded at a time like this. And when you get home, the kids can draw a picture or write a story about their experience. We would love if parents and caregivers would share those experiences with us. We will include artwork from young people across Laois in the new plan. This can be a drawing, a painting, a photo, a poem or any artwork you like, that shows something you value about any part of the Heritage of County Laois. We will include the best artworks in the new published plan, and we will have two prizes of Family Heritage Cards for the best entries. We would also love to hear the views of children and young people, on what the next Heritage Plan for the county should include. We are asking anyone who’d like to take part, to fill in the Consultation form on our website, or to complete the online questionnaire or just write us a note saying what they think we should focus on, to make the Heritage Plan the best it can be for young people.”

The Wildlife Art Workshop in Mountmellick Library as part of Heritage Week.
Photograph: Alf Harvey.

What do we mean by Heritage?
Heritage is a word that can mean lots of different things to different people. It can mean things from the past or present that we value, and want to protect for future generations. In Ireland we have the Heritage Council working to protect all parts of our heritage, and they include wildlife, landscapes, archaeology, architecture, museums, artefacts, our inland waterways, coasts and seascapes. Many people also include traditional music and dance, the Irish language, crafts, traditional skills like thatching, history, folktales and genealogy.

 So what is a Heritage Plan?
A County Heritage Plan celebrates the best of a county’s heritage and lays out what the community will do to protect, conserve and raise awareness of that heritage in the next five years. The plan contains Objectives, which say in broad terms what Laois Heritage Forum hopes to do, and under each objective there are Actions, which are the detailed projects that we will take on each year. We’d like your help in suggesting objectives and actions that are relevant for young people for the new plan.

Pupils from Scoil Bhríde, Portlaoise at Emo Court for the launch of the Laois Passport for Heritage Sites. From left: Ryan Dunne, Clodagh Fitzpatrick, Aaron Bowden-Adair, Daniel Doran, Eoin Bowden-Adair, Kieran Jordan-Doyle and Cillian Delaney.
Picture: Alf Harvey.

Where to send your details
Send your submissions on the Heritage Plan, and your artwork to heritage@laoiscoco.ie or post to the Heritage Office, Laois County Council, Portlaoise, Co Laois. The closing date for submissions is 31st May 2020.

For some more information on the Heritage Plan and to download the consultation form click here:  

For adults who would like to take part in the consultation, there is a survey for them here too .

The Heritage Plan for County Laois is supported by the Heritage Council.