NLHF Medieval Animals Heritage Project

image for the project NLHF Medieval Animals Heritage Project


Date: 2021-2023

Dr Diane Heath

Funding Information

National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF)

Our National Lottery Heritage funded project has brought to life East Kent’s neglected but wonderful nationally important heritage by working with local communities. Our focus is on Medieval Animals and their rich heritage ‘afterlife’ in animal history and culture. St Anselm and other medieval scholars specifically sought to engage people's feelings by making animals the bearers of emotional meanings. Now we can reimagine their creativity in vital and fascinating ways to aid SEND children understand their emotions; bring communities together, supporting everyone’s wellbeing, by enthusing them about local heritage and eco-history.

  • We’ve worked with local volunteers, charities, families with SEND children, CCCU and UKC specialists and student volunteers, Wildwood, Franciscan Gardens, Maison Dieu Dover, Canterbury and Rochester Cathedrals, Powell-Cotton Museum, Royal Harbour Academy, Ramsgate, medieval East Kent churches.
  • Our workshops and activities have aided us to engage with an amazing untold part of our heritage. Using the emotional appeal of Medieval Animals to reach and inspire our communities, focusing on lower POLAR quintiles with less uptake of higher education, and specifically SEND families (for whom heritage has been a closed book), improving wellbeing in local communities hit by COVID challenges such as isolation, anxiety, depression, and financial hardship, by engaging in skills development and fun, inclusive, often ‘family bubbled’, sustainable, safe, activities at local sites to embed a love of local eco-history heritage.

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