OWHL – Our Way Heritage Lives

EBUKI are partners in the exciting CobBauge Project, bringing our skills and network to help achieve the project aims.

See the project website OWHL Our Way Heritage Lives Project


The OWHL Our Way Heritage Lives Project brings together seven organisations that provide adult learning in European cultural heritage. Spread across five countries, each organisation faces a unique set of challenges, such as having to operate with a small staff capacity or in a geographically isolated area. By sharing their knowledge and skills, the project partners help each other to find solutions to these challenges.

Some challenges may be more common of even apply to the heritage sector generally. Working with volunteers, accommodating diversity among learners, communicating local heritage within its wider context and managing the impact of climate change are but a few of these shared concerns. The coronavirus pandemic has added further complexities to how each organisation operates and has become an important discussion topic for the OWHL Project. By learning from experiences across country borders, the project partners are managing to adapt to a new reality in which digital media offers valuable new opportunities.

The OWHL Project is based around a series of joint staff training events, hosted in turn by each of the partner organisations over a period of three years from September 2019 to September 2022. Small numbers of staff travel abroad to see and experience each organisation’s location, operational strategy and approach to adult education. The best of these learning experiences may be adopted by other partner organisations and will be compiled in a project handbook for sharing within the wider heritage sector.

Earth Building

The international meetings of the OWHL Project will develop the participants’ understanding of a shared European cultural heritage and how each organisation’s work local and regional work contributes to this grand narrative. For EBUKI, the use of earth as a building material is an area of particular interest and expertise and through the OWHL Project we are helping other partner organisations to recognise and acknowledge the importance of earth construction in their own region. Elements of historic or modern earth construction, such as clay mortars and plasters, may be hidden in plain sight and for the partners of the OWHL Project these may offer unexpected and welcome opportunities to engage their audience in easily accessible and enjoyable skills training activities.

Some of project partners already have an extensive track record of training in earth construction and this is something EBUKI may benefit from. Useful knowledge and skills may concern specific forms of earth construction, such as Icelandic turf building, or innovative ways to reach and varied wide audience at heritage sites across a country, such as Liechtenstein’s heritage trail app achieves. By learning from and with the our partner organisations, the OWHL Project aims to create a supportive network that will form a lasting legacy.


Project partners

Gamla Linköping Open-Air Museum (Sweden): an elaborate museum with buildings, gardens and streets where it said that ‘history comes alive’. The museum uses living history and various new engagement strategies to inform their 440,000 annual visitors about the area’s cultural heritage.

Skagafjörður Heritage Museum (Iceland): a local heritage museum with a variety of historic turf and timber buildings in its care. The museum runs a Heritage Craft School that delivers training in vernacular building skills to adults throughout Iceland and abroad.

Haus Gutenberg (Liechtenstein): an adult education institution established in 2004 that focuses on training in personal development, spiritual health and social issues. Working together with the country’s Historical Association, National Museum and smaller heritage museums, the organisation seeks to raise awareness of the added societal value and need for sustainable management of cultural heritage.

Ljusdalsbygdens Museum (Sweden): a small heritage museum founded in 1943 by the local historical society. With a particular focus on the area’s history in trading and textile production, the organisation is well versed in working with volunteers to deliver a rich and varied programme of activities, including traditional craft workshops.

Sagalund’s Museum (Finland): an open-air museum established in 1900 in the southern Finnish archipelago. Working closely with smaller museums, jointly caring for over 50 historic buildings, the organisation offers museum education activities with an emphasis on cultural heritage management, public activities and education for adults and children.

Highland Folk Museum (United Kingdom): an open-air museum that celebrates past life in the Highlands of Scotland. Incorporating original and reconstructed historic buildings and an extensive artefact collection, the museum uses exhibitions, living history and demonstrations to promote education and training in Highland culture and traditional crafts.

EBUKI’s associate partners

Through Earth Building UK & Ireland, two associate partner organisations are included in the OWHL Project.

The Auchindrain Township is a historic rural settlement in a remote part of Argyll on the Scottish west coast. The organisation has special experience of working with volunteers and accommodating staff with additional mental and physical health needs.

The Sheiling Project is an educational organisation that uses its remote rural location in the Scottish Highlands to deliver cultural heritage education. Volunteering days and weekends allow adult learners to develop new skills in a wide variety of traditional and modern eco-building techniques.