Volunteering is an ideal instrument to bring abandoned heritage sites back to the awareness of the public. This may happen for different reasons: because a heritage site is in danger to fall in decay, because a heritage site which had been so far accessible for the public is endangered by privatisation, because important elements of a bigger heritage ensemble are in danger to become forgotten, or others.
In most of the cases the voluntarily engagement can be only the first step to draw the publics’ attention on the particular heritage site or on its state of conservation, and in a second step more substantial measures must follow. But sometimes interventions on a voluntary base which originally had been planned only as a singular or temporary action become the starting point of a long and sustainable process, of substantial and responsible activities for endangered heritages.
Also European Heritage Volunteers’ own history had started in that way – with small, temporary and very specific measures in order to protect endangered heritage sites from decay – as repairing roofs, undertaking water management measures, creating supporting constructions for the static stabilisation of heritage sites and similar activities. Having these own experiences in mind European Heritage Volunteers supports initiatives which are willing to overtake the – temporary or permanent – responsibility for endangered heritage sites by organising volunteering projects at these sites.
In 2018, European Heritage Volunteers will organise one project at an endangered heritage site – at the former “Waldlust” Grand Hotel in Freudenstadt, Baden-Wuerttemberg, and the surrounding park.