Delivering on the Sustainability Agenda:
A pilot project from Rural Museums East for 2008-09
There is an increasing awareness of the opportunities for museums to actively
contribute to the growing environmental, economic and social sustainability
agendas. Museums can engage both through direct action and through taking
a role in facilitating and interpreting the sustainability debate.
This project builds on the successful partnership working of Rural Museums
East that was developed through the 2006-08 East of England business plan.
For 2008-09, resources will be focussed on two lead partners: Gressenhall
Farm & Workhouse (GFW), part of Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service;
and the Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL), a large independent museum.
Pilot projects undertaken by Rural Museums East have identified the
opportunity for rural museums to actively engage with the sustainability
Proving a forum for public debate regarding sustainability issues in a
historic context e.g. use of bio-diesel tractors compared to traditional horse
Undertaking and interpreting practical on-site sustainability projects e.g.
composting; sourcing of café food supplies; visitor travel options
Acting as a “showcase” for sustainability issues e.g. event days inviting
stands and demonstrations from the sustainability sector; demonstrations
of traditional skills.
Aims and Objectives
During 2008-09 the project will:
Research, pilot and evaluate different practical approaches to the delivery
and interpretation of the sustainability agenda in a museum and heritage
context through the delivery of initiatives that will serve as case studies.
Support the development of sustainability action plans at lead partner sites
Design, deliver and evaluate an event and activity programme at GFW,
including an enhanced Go Green event (Go Green attracted a diverse
audience of over 1,500 people in 2007, and provided a showcase for a
number of sustainability projects and initiatives).
At GFW pilot a programme for schools that will enable local children to
carry out an environmental sustainability audit and develop an action plan.
Refine the carbon footprinting model at GFW and identify specific practical
projects that support environmental sustainability and which provide
opportunities for enhanced interpretation to the public.
Identify approaches by which partner museums can support and interpret
biodiversity on their sites.
Facilitate the development of staff “green teams” at GFW & MEAL to
support the interpretation of the sustainability agenda at each site.
Consider sustainability issues relating to traditional skills including staff
succession planning and apprenticeship opportunities.
Develop and deliver an East of England sustainability conference in
autumn 2008 for the wider sector and support related Museums
Association events in the region.
Support the development of effective partnership working within and
beyond the museums and heritage sector on the theme of sustainability.
Co-ordinate relevant work and liase closely with colleagues in
Renaissance East of England in terms of evaluation and communication
and contribute to the development of proposals for the 2009-11 East of
England business plan.
Engage with relevant colleagues and museums in the Rural Museums
Network SSN and the Greater Fens Museums Partnership.
For more information, please contact:
Sustainability Project Officer
Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse
Norfolk NR20 4DR
Direct Dial: 01362 869262
Mobile: 07917 587 388