This week we speak with TIDE project partner Bill Horner
, County Archaeologist & Historic Environment Manager for Devon County Council
(UK). DCC has a dedicated Archaeology unit, with considerable skills in this field. As a major UK tourist destination, they have extensive skills in marketing both their cultural and historic assets, and a growing skill capacity in applying innovative technology applications in tourism.
Devon will participate fully in designing and testing the TOOLKIT and Online service for the project. It will also take a pivotal role in implementing a pilot for the World Wars and Atlantic Migrations and take a transnational leading in developing the Napoleonic era tourism package for a pilot.
What is the contribution of your organisation to the project?
Devon will use its experience in making heritage information available to the public and promoting access to heritage and nature to help the project partners ensure the long-term sustainability of the project and expand it to the wider Atlantic area.
Have you identified any good practices that will be shared among the partnership?
Devon County Council and its partners have been actively promoting physical and mental access to the region’s heritage through a number of websites. Principally the Devon Environmental Viewer, a portal for accessing a wide range of mapped environmental data; Explore Devon, a portal for accessing walking, cycling and horse riding routes; Devon Museums, a portal listing Devon’s principal museum collections.
How will you benefit from this interregional cooperation?
The historical events being covered by the project were momentous in terms of our regional and shared European heritage. They involved some of Devon’s (and England’s) most iconic historical figures and now historical and archaeological sites. Developing links with partner regions will add richness, context and completeness to these stories. We will also learn and build on the experience that our partners have in communicating these stories and in making the heritage accessible to all.
Why did you decide to join TIDE?
The project’s themes are fundamental to Devon’s (and also England’s) maritime heritage and identity. Because of its strategic geographical position, in the middle of Europe's Atlantic Coast, Devon has rich connections with all the historical eras on which the project will focus, as well as strong historical connections with the partner regions. We can therefore work to mutual benefit with all the project’s regions.
What do you expect from the project?
I expect considerably more knowledge and understanding of the historic eras and the extent of our shared maritime heritage. I expect to see new perspectives on history presented in our museums/visitor attractions. I expect to see previously unseen or unappreciated heritage, on land and beneath the sea, brought to new and wider audiences.