County Kilkenny has a rich and varied built, natural and cultural heritage resource. Landscapes, rivers, woodlands, hedgerows, geology, plants and animals are all part of our natural heritage. Archaeological sites and many other buildings and structures such as houses, shops, churches, bridges and mills are features of our built heritage. Our cultural heritage includes aspects of heritage such as traditions, practices, knowledge and skills, which are an expression of our culture.
Kilkenny’s heritage is that which makes the county unique, what gives it its special character and its ‘sense of place’. Heritage has many values including economic, social, environmental and cultural. It is vital for the health, well‐being and quality of life of communities. It is a valuable economic resource. It underpins Kilkenny’s tourism and agricultural sectors, and brings significant economic benefits to the county and its residents. Protecting and enhancing our heritage is vital to the health, well-being and quality of life of our communities. County Kilkenny’s heritage plays a key role in planning for climate change in the county. It will be affected by changes in climate, and it also has the capacity to be part of our climate adaptation and resilience strategies.
The National Heritage Plan and the National Biodiversity Action Plan recognise the key role that local authorities, and locally‐led action, plays in heritage awareness and management. A key element of both plans is an enhanced role for local authorities in heritage management, to be given effect through the preparation and implementation of County Heritage Plans and Biodiversity Action Plans. The County Kilkenny Heritage Plan and County Kilkenny Biodiversity Plan are incorporated in the Kilkenny County Council Cultural Strategy 2018-2022.
Under this remit the Council will support the implementation of the National Heritage Plan (Heritage 2030, in preparation) and the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021 (and subsequent plans). It will seek the protection and sustainable management of the heritage of County Kilkenny for the benefit of current and future generations. Through its policies and actions, the Council will promote increased awareness of the heritage of the county.
The Council will support the implementation of the National Heritage Plan and National Biodiversity Action Plan and to review the County Biodiversity Plan as part of the Cultural Strategy. The Council will also support the implementation of key legislation and national and local policies, programmes and plans which identify protect and promote Kilkenny’s heritage.
It is the aim of the Council to develop and support programmes which encourage active participation in identifying, recording, protecting, communicating and enjoying Kilkenny’s heritage.