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Offaly Naturalists' Field Club Programme 2017
Download the Offaly Naturalists Field Club Programme here. There is a tremendous range of events with thanks to all of the leaders and landowners.
Public Consultation - Offaly County Council – Draft - Offaly Heritage Plan Key Actions for 2017 – 2021
Deadline Friday 10 March 2017 - this will now go before the March County Council meeting for adoption.
This is the fourth Heritage Plan for county Offaly and the process has changed considerably from 2000. The previous plans had between 55 and 70 actions. The first Offaly Heritage Plan 2001-2006 was a document setting out the very broad scope of work that needed to be done. We now know what the staff and budget allocations are more likely to be and have tailored the plan and number of actions accordingly. It is proposed to focus the Plan to limit it to eight broader actions which we aim to make considerable progress with over the five years.
The priorities agreed by the Offaly Heritage Forum and the Planning and Economic SPC for the years 2017 to 2021 are set out below. Following the January 2017 Offaly County Council meeting the proposal is now subject to public consultation until Friday 10 March 2017.
Proposed Eight Action Areas for 2017 -2021
- Offaly County Council Heritage related projects such as 1916/2016 Centenary Commemorations and the follow on programme Creative Ireland; management of key county sites such as Durrow and Clonmacnoise, public realm plans and ongoing projects as they arise.
- Partnering with local communities and societies working on heritage projects, ranging from the Tidy Towns network to Historical Societies.
- Heritage and Tourism – making sites accessible and improving signage and information including inputs to www.visitoffaly.ie
- Developing a County Archive Service in partnership with Offaly History, the Library Service and private owners.
- Medieval churches/Monastic Site conservation of the structures, management plans and access (these sites are predominantly in Offaly County Council ownership)
- Publications – commissioning of and assisting with publications, specifically Offaly Castles and demesne landscapes which are currently in preparation.
- Biodiversity – promotion of the National Pollinator Plan, submitting records to the National Biodiversity Data Centre and control of invasive species with particular focus on Japanese and Himalayan knotweed and Himalayan Balsam.
- Access to heritage - coordinating and management of events such as Heritage Week, Offaly Naturalists’ Field Club, Annual Offaly Heritage Seminar and awareness of Offaly’s heritage through all appropriate means.
Role of the Offaly Heritage Forum - The forum is made up of Council, community, NGO and state agency representatives that meet quarterly. Members have given huge commitment to the forum and in delivering heritage projects. The forum has had a key role in providing members with an opportunity to discuss what their group or agency are working on, their restraints and opportunities and it has done much to assist with interagency working relations. This forum is brought together and co-ordinated by the Heritage Office. Joint community/agency projects have proven to be an efficient and cost effective way to work.
·  Offaly County Council Heritage Office has an annual budget for the delivery of the Heritage Plan of €25,000 - €30,000. The Heritage Council has allocated a matching budget to assist with the delivery of the Offaly Heritage Plan. Other funding streams are utilized as the opportunities arise.