There are a number of opportunities to get involved in heritage projects at the Department for Communities.


European Heritage Open Days (EHOD)

Each year hundreds of properties open their doors and many organisations put on events for FREE across Northern Ireland as part of European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) which takes place every year on the second weekend of September. This year EHOD takes place on 14 and 15 September.

To ensure that we have adequate support for these events, the Department recruits a large number of volunteers to ensure an enjoyable day out is had by everyone involved. Volunteering can give you the opportunity to try something new, gain valuable experience, share your knowledge and skills, build confidence, help others and meet new people while supporting our economy through tourism. If you are interested in volunteering contact ehod@communities-ni.gov.uk.

Defence of Britain Project

In 1995 the Defence of Britain Project was launched by The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) to coordinate recording work undertaken by volunteers. Two years later Northern Ireland joined the project with the Defence Heritage Project (DHP). A small number of dedicated volunteers has amassed an impressive record of many aspects of our defence heritage, and over 300 sites of interest have been recorded, although coverage is not yet complete.

Following on from the successful 1997 Defence Heritage Project, DfC is now looking for volunteers to help record the remaining 20th-century defences so they can be added to the Defence Heritage Record.

Recording defence structures

The volunteer project in partnership with the Living Legacies 1914-18 Engagement Centre and CBA Home Front Legacy 1914-18 is asking the public to get involved in recording the remaining defence heritage structures in their localities throughout Northern Ireland.

Do you know of a defence heritage structure near your home?  We do not only want to record what survives today, but also as much as possible of what had been built and is long since destroyed.  Traditions on stories and photographs would also form part of the record.

A user-friendly map based web application on defence heritage in Northern Ireland is now available. This features: an overview of the Defence Heritage Project, an interactive map of previously recorded defence heritage sites throughout Northern Ireland and an online form to gather new information about defence heritage sites. Could you inform us of a defence heritage site not recorded or possibly help update the record for a particular structure already recorded. Paper entries can also be submitted using the defence heritage form. Further information is included in the Defence Heritage Handbook

The information gathered through the project will be made accessible to the public and become part of the Northern Ireland Monuments and Buildings Record (MBR), helping DfC to safeguard Northern Ireland’s defence heritage through policy and legislation.

Structure and contacts

View the Historic Environment Division structure and contacts

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