UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Looking at old ground in a new way

The UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage (ISH) is undertaking a research project that aims to investigate the synergies between heritage science and sport science, and their impact on wellbeing.

UCL ISH has put in place a team of professionals from the fields of social science, equine biomechanics, archaeology, landscape design, Eventing technical delegates, historic estate management and directors of one of the UK’s top 10 attended sporting events. This study aims to inform those working on the front line of the risks and mitigations to be addressed when integrating permanent sporting infrastructure into designed landscapes.

These historically important open spaces have been instrumental in the evolution of equestrian sports, such as Eventing. Today, technology advancements are becoming central to sporting events ability to attract more visitors and enhance the athlete experience. We expect that in the near future, caretakers of historic designed landscapes will need to address concerns on how best to integrate these technologies whilst maintaining the character and integrity of the landscape.

Identifying and prioritising common issues among different sectors are key drivers for effective and sustained collaboration. unless attempts are made to share a language, communication to start collaboration may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle.  Cross-disciplinary collaboration has the potential answer these concerns." (Heritage Scientist, 2017)

Today, sporting events particularly large scale events, are critical to the local and national economy. To sustain these events, their physical impact on designed landscapes needs to be understood and better managed.  By presenting cross-disciplinary evidence and integrating the views of all relevant stakeholders, this study will help create a novel decision-making process that bridges sport and heritage.

HEIF Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund

Looking at Old Ground in a New Way: Policy innovation through knowledge exchange among heritage & sport academics & practitioners


Professor May Cassar

If you are interested in updates, or have questions on this research, please contact May Cassar. Send May an email: m.cassar@ucl.ac.uk

For Blog posts relating to this project please visit the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage Blog.