AHI Awards 2017 announcement

02 May 2017

The Association for Heritage Interpretation is delighted to announce the shortlist for the AHI 2017 Discover Heritage Awards – for excellence in cultural and natural heritage interpretation in Britain and Ireland – sponsored by Wessex Archaeology.  

Held biennially AHI Discover Heritage Awards are the only UK and Irish awards to recognise all types of heritage interpretation. Projects of all shapes, sizes and budgets were entered from England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The quality of interpretation was consistently high, which reflects the strength of heritage interpretation across the UK and Ireland. Shortlisted and commended sites were chosen by a team of interpretation experts from around the UK and Ireland.

Bill Bevan, AHI Chair said “The quality of entrants into the AHI 2017 Discover Heritage Awards made short-listing an exceptionally tough process. The shortlist represents some of the best recent heritage interpretation projects in Britain and Ireland. We are delighted that the shortlist ranges from small to large projects. It is an international badge of excellence whether a site wins, or is shortlisted or commended in one of the categories.”

Shortlisted entries will be visited anonymously over the summer by AHI site judges and the winners will only be announced on the night of the gala awards ceremony, held at the joint AHI – Interpret Europe conference in October at the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. The recipient of the 2017 AHI Lifetime Achievement Award will also be announced at the ceremony.

The AHI Discover Heritage Awards recognise excellence in all types and sizes of heritage interpretation whether held in museums, historic buildings, visitor centres or any type of outdoor location. Any form of media or activity is suitable including exhibition, print, digital, art or live. An eligible project can be small or large. Whether it is a new leaflet or a million-pound visitor centre (or anything in between), the awards celebrate projects that best meet their interpretive aims and successfully communicate their key messages to their audiences.

The full list of shortlisted and commended entries can be found at and are:

Museums and Historic Properties/Sites, sponsored by Minerva Heritage.
  • Lifting the Lid at the Vyne, Basingstoke, The National Trust,
  • Tintagel Castle - Where Legend Meets History, Tintagel, English Heritage Trust
  • Tank Men, the Story of the First Crews, Bovington, The Tank Museum
  • Family narrated multi-lingual audio guides at World's third best Garden,Enniskerry, Powerscourt Estate and Martello Media.
Commended:British Motor Museum Redevelopment & Collections Centre Project, Gaydon, British Motor Museum

Landscapes, forests, nature reserves, parks and gardens, sponsored by Bright3D.
  • Hampton Court Palace Gardens Permanent Interpretation, Historic Royal Palaces
  • Secrets of the High Woods, Midhurst, South Downs National Park Authority and Jam Creative Studios
  • The Hive, Richmond, Kew Gardens
Visitor / Interpretation Centres, sponsored by Bett Associates.
  • Man & Boy exhibition at Seamus Heaney Home Place, Bellaghy, Tandem Design and Mid-Ulster District Council.
  • GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, Dublin, Martello Media
  • Pearse Cultural Centre, Ros Muc, Bright and Údarás na Gaeltachta
  • Voices from the Workhouse, Derenham, Bright and Norfolk Museums Service
Commended:Seaton Jurassic, Seaton, Devon Wildlife Trust.

Interpretation for a Target Audience, sponsored by Colour Heroes.
  • Egyptian Sculpture Gallery Touch Tour, London, The British Museum
  • Talking Law, School of History, University of St Andrews
  • Stihl Treetop Walkway, Westonbirt National Arboretum, Tetbury, Forestry Commission.
Community Projects, sponsored by Canal and River Trust.
  • Pop-Up Ruskin Museum, Sheffield, Guild of St George.Commended:The Workhouse History Centre, Llanfylin, Llanfyllin Dolydd Building Preservation Trust.

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