220.127.116.11 Participation in the historic environment is measured by Heritage Counts, an annual report of the state of England’s historic environment, and is published by English Heritage. According to 2009/10 results for the South West, adult participation in the historic environment has decreased from 72.7% (2008/09) to 69.8% (2009/10); Black and Minority Ethnic group participation has decreased from 67.9% to 60.5%; and rates for lower socio-economic groups decreased from 62.2% to 54.7%.
18.104.22.168 In terms of visits to historic sites, there was a slight decline in visitor numbers between 2007/08 and 2008/09, with English Heritage and the National Trust experiencing a 3% and 2% fall in numbers respectively. There were concerns that the economic situation would have a persistent negative impact on visitor numbers to historic environment sites. However, comparison of the visitor numbers at National Trust sites show a healthy increase of 15%
between 2008 and 2010, and a 5.6% increase at English Heritage sites. Research undertaken during April-June 2009 indicates that membership schemes and public events were having a strong positive impact on the performance of historic attractions and were likely to increase in importance in the medium term. This is borne out by first quarter 2009/10 figures for English Heritage properties in the South West, which, due to a strong event programme and buoyant UK domestic visitor market, experienced a 25% increase in admissions income and a 31% increase on membership income.
22.214.171.124 Of education visits, Heritage Counts 2010 reported a 3% decrease on 2008/09 numbers (70,519). Nonetheless, English Heritage education visits in the South West have increased by 33% since 2001– the highest
percentage of all regions, and contrary to a national decrease of 7%. Visits in the region account for nearly 20% of all English Heritage Education visits.