The HHA, which celebrates its 40th birthday in 2013, represents 1500 independently-owned historic houses, castles and gardens throughout the UK. A third are open to visitors, attracting some 14 million visits each year, and many are also active businesses, hosting weddings, corporate or private events, staging festivals, concerts or conferences; many others welcome special interest groups, tours and other by-appointment visits. One in five of all members welcome educational visits - there are more than 300,000 such visits annually.
HHA/Christie's Garden of the Year Award
The Garden of the Year Award, sponsored by Christie's, has been presented annually since 1984. The award goes to the HHA Member garden which has been voted as a favourite by the Friends throughout the year. The award reflects the enormous enjoyment which people experience from visiting gardens each year and the personal involvement of the owners in the development and upkeep of the gardens.
HHA/Sotheby's Restoration Award
This award was launched in 2008, with sponsorship from Sotheby's, to recognise and celebrate the restoration work that is continually being undertaken by members of the HHA throughout the United Kingdom. Restoration projects, which must cover the dominant features of a room, building or folly, are judged according to the way in which they respect and are in sympathy with the historic quality of the building. Projects must be open to the public.
Heritage Education Trust
The HHA has been a supporter of the Heritage Education Trust since its inception. http://www.heritageeducationtrust.org.uk. The Trust manages the prestigious Sandford Awards for excellence in heritage education provision and seeks to encourage innovation, transferability and sustainability alongside fun and enjoyment in learning programmes.
The HHA supports the work of the Heritage Conservation Trust, to aid restoration of art in historic houses and to support learning, access and research projects. http://www.heritageconservationtrust.org.uk