Talking About Heritage

Closed 15 Dec 2020

Opened 22 Sep 2020


Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is looking for your views on Talking About Heritage.

Talking About Heritage is guidance we are producing to help you to investigate, to share and celebrate, and to achieve recognition for the heritage that matters to you

It is intended to be used as a tool by anyone with an interest in exploring and talking about the heritage that is important to them. You might use it if you are creating a Local Place Plan or researching places that are important to you.

Download draft 'Talking About Heritage' guidance [PDF, 269KB]

This guidance is part of an ongoing review of historic environment policy guidance, following on from the launch of the Historic Environment Policy for Scotland (HEPS) in May 2019.

This survey usually takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Download a print version of the consultation. [PDF, 3.3MB]

Why we are consulting

The What's Your Heritage? campaign asked people from all over the country how Scotland’s places, buildings and monuments should be recognised and celebrated. 

Feedback from over 2000 responses to What's Your Heritage? told us that people wanted to achieve recognition for the heritage that matters to them. 

Talking About Heritage is part of the HES response to this.

A man in a blue high visibility jacket looking at a camera with two other people


While there is advice about this subject online, much of it is held in separate locations. Talking About Heritage is intended to bring together this information into one place and to help to empower people to find out about their heritage, celebrate it and protect it. 


We used public opinion from the What’s Your Heritage? campaign and stakeholder engagement to review and replace the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement (HESPS).

This interim document was replaced with HEPS in May 2019. HEPS is a high-level policy statement directing decision-making that affects the historic environment. 

The policy is used by people like planners in their work - but everyone has a role to play in talking about heritage and how we care for our historic environment.   

It sets out a series of principles and policies for the recognition, care and sustainable management of the historic environment. In doing so, it promotes a way of understanding the value of the historic environment which is inclusive and recognises different views.

What happens next

Thank you for taking part in this consultation. Our next steps will be processing all the results and addressing your comments in the document draft.

The final guidance will be published on the Historic Environment Scotland website.


  • Talking About Heritage Online Event

    From 5 Nov 2020 at 18:00 to 5 Nov 2020 at 19:00

    Scotland’s history and heritage can mean so many things to so many people.

    This free online event aims to equip people to have new – sometimes difficult – conversations about our places, people, traditions, our very sense of identity.

    While everything around us seems uncertain, taking a bit of time to talk about the past can give us a sense of stability, wellbeing and reassurances that this too will pass.

    But heritage can also challenge us.

    History isn’t a static thing – it’s being created all the time. New research is always coming to light, uncovering hidden histories about people and places that the history books forgot but deserve our attention today.

    Join us on Thursday 5 November as we talk about heritage and the different ways we acknowledge, share and celebrate our past.

    For further information please get in touch at