Britain’s Treasure Islands include 3 WHS!

Events, News, Opportunities, UK Overseas Territories, UNESCO



Britain’s Treasure Islands (Including 3 World Heritage Sites!)

The natural history of the UK Overseas Territories

When: Thursday March 24th 6:45pm-10:00pm

Where: Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London

Overview: The UK Overseas Territories are Britain’s most remote outposts. Scattered across all Seven Seas, they cover an area seven times the size of the British Isles. They are home to 350,000 British subjects, thousands of unique species and many of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth…

…yet few know that the territories even exist or remain part of the United Kingdom today.

Join explorer and filmmaker Stewart McPherson for an evening’s journey across all of Britain’s overseas lands.

Travel from the equator to the South Pole, from lush tropical atolls to active volcanoes and windswept Antarctic islands.

Stewart will recount stories from filming a 4-part TV documentary series and showcase the wonders of the territories: some of the world’s biggest penguin, turtle and seal colonies, the most remote inhabited settlements on the planet, the history of the mutiny on the Bounty and the imprisonment of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Come for a unique evening to discover an incredible secret side of the United Kingdom.

Tickets are £10. £8 concessions.

Available at: 

Please send enquiries to

Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan Public consultation

consultation, Management Plan, News, Opportunities

Durham Castle- credit ADTeasdale

I am very pleased to announce that the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan draft version is now live for public consultation (22nd February to 18th April 2016). This is a very important part of the process of ensuring that our new plan is relevant and useful – your comments are important to us.

 Please click on this link,   which will take you to our home page where you can find out all about the different ways you can comment on and contribute to the plan.

If you have any problems accessing our site, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Also, please do feel free to forward this message to any colleagues you feel would be interested in the Management Plan.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Jane Gibson

Durham World Heritage Site Coordinator                                                                                          

Email:  Website:

#OurWorldHeritage Photo & Story Contest

Awards, News, Opportunities, Uncategorized, UNESCO

IMG_5235#OurWorldHeritage is a social media campaign where people are invited to share their unique world heritage stories and experiences with UNESCO’s global community.

It’s easy to participate in UNESCO’s Our World Heritage Photo and Story Contest!

1 Take a photograph of yourself at a UNESCO World Heritage Site

2 Write a brief description of your experience at the site

3 Post your photo on your instagram using #OurWorldHeritage before the 29th February

See also:

Chloe Porter’s Edinburgh workshop blog

Edinburgh Technical Meeting 2016, Events, Management Plan, Network meetings, News

Chloe Porter is a planning officer in Edinburgh City Council and has written an excellent blog about the recent World Heritage UK technical workshop on WHS management plans and systems in ‘Planning Edinburgh’. You can read it here:

Watch this space for further World Heritage UK events in 2016, including a Members Meeting at the Giant’s Causeway at the end of June and the second World Heritage UK conference in October.

Tower of London - named as the most popular UK WHS with Uk residents in a Sykes Cottages poll of 2016

Sykes Cottages research into our visiting habits!


Sykes Cottages research into our visiting habits.

[Extracts from their press release]

The accommodation company Sykes Cottages undertook a poll of 2,000 Brits, conducted by The Leadership Factor on behalf of Sykes Cottages, found that few of us are taking the time to explore the world famous and awe-inspiring places on our own doorstep that people travel from the world over to see.


  • 1 in 10 Brits have never visited a National Park
  • Over 1 in 5 Brits have visited the Dorset and East Devon Coast
  • Tower of London named the most popular UK UNESCO World Heritage Site

Despite being famously known as a green and pleasant land, new research shows just 1% of Brits have visited all 15 of our National Parks and one in ten have never taken the time to explore a National Park at all.

Just 13% of Brits have made the trip to visit Hadrian’s Wall on what was once the frontier of the Roman Empire, while only 11% have made the trip to Northern Ireland and paid a visit to the iconic Giant’s Causeway.

The Tower of London was named as the most visited World Heritage Site, visited by 42% of those polled, followed by the City of Bath (32%) and Stonehenge (31%), while 13% said they had never visited any of the sites.  The Jurassic Coast polled 5th at 21%.

Almost half of Brits (46%) have visited the Lake District, making it the most popular National Park on the list, followed by the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales, both with 33%.

The survey was conducted as part of the Sykes Cottages Isle of Inspiration campaign that explores how our our isle has inspired some of the world’s greatest artistic minds to create works including Lord of the Rings, Le Mere and Daffodils.

Tom Lowes, Head of Online Marketing at Sykes Cottages, said: “It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to have so many sites of natural beauty and historical importance on our doorstep. It’s staggering that a huge one in ten Brits have never visited one of our National Parks; whether you’re looking for a country stroll, a good hike or even just to sit quietly in a pub and take in the view, they truly have something for everyone.

Taking a look at UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites is a great place to start if you want to learn more about Great Britain’s past. There’s so much more to our history than the Tower of London and Stonehenge; from the natural history of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, to the Victorian industrial might of Salt’s Mill in Saltaire.

Isle of Inspiration was created to showcase the diversity of the beauty of this great island and allow people to take a glimpse from their own home, before heading outdoors and out of the city to experience it for themselves.”

View Sykes Cottages’ Isle of Inspiration at

% of respondents who have visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tower of London 42%
City of Bath 32%
Stonehenge 31%
Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey 24%
Dorset and East Devon Coast 21%
Old and New Towns of Edinburgh 20%
Maritime Greenwich 20%
The Forth Bridge 18%
Durham Castle and Cathedral 18%
Canterbury Cathedral 17%
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew 17%
Ironbridge Gorge 16%
Blenheim Palace 15%
Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City – 15%
Frontiers of the Roman Empire (inc Hadrian’s Wall) 13%
Cornwall and West Devon mining landscape 11%
Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast 11%
Avebury and Associated Sites 11%
Castle and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynned 11%
Saltaire 9%
Studley Royal Park inc Fountains Abbey 8%
Derwent Valley Mills 8%
New Lanark 6%
Blaenavon Industrial Landscape 5%
St Kilda 4%
Pontcysyllte Aquaduct and Canal 3%
Heart of Neolithic Orkney 3%
None of the above 13%


Edinburgh meeting presentations and other news …


Edinburgh meeting presentations and other news …

Dear World Heritage UK Members and blog followers (who we hope will become members if not already…)

We have put online the presentations, notes and other details about the technical meeting in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago.  Our apologies for the delay in doing this, it always takes a while to get everything together.  It is all available here or you can find it under the events menu at

Once we have the group photo from the event that will go onto the website too, but we must just thank Historic Environment Scotland again for their support and excellent hosting.

With respect to the conference outputs, the  WH:UK board will look at these in detail in April and see if we  can come up with some quick wins.


If you have any documents or links about World Heritage Sites that you think would be useful to share, we would be happy to put them onto our resources page.  Please  just send them to and we will get them  up for all to see.

Members area of  the website

We are considering the option for a members-only section of the website. Please let us know what you think with this poll. Thanks.

‘Tech-help’ needed

We would really do with some helping in putting up news items about World Heritage on this blog, and also perhaps doing more on Twitter and Facebook for us.  If you are interested, please get in touch with Chris on

Thanks, that’s all for now – have a great week.

Technical Workshop Edinburgh

World Heritage UK Technical Meeting on Management planning – Edinburgh Jan 25/26 2016

Downloads, Edinburgh Technical Meeting 2016, Events


This meeting was aimed at World Heritage practitioners, and took place in the offices of Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Edinburgh, on Jan 25th and 26th 2016.  Its focus was on WH Site Management planning, looking at current guidelines, good practice, effectiveness and case studies.  This post gives the presentations and notes from the 2 day event.  Our thanks go to HES for supporting the event, and for being such outstanding hosts.

Final programme

The final programme for the event can be found here:
WH:UK Technical Workshop Final Programme


Please remember that the copyright of presentations and content lies with the authors, so please contact them should you wish to use any material contained therein. 

Day 1

Sam Rose, Chair, WH:UK.  World Heritage UK updates
Presentation slides

Tony Crouch, Vice-chair, WH:UK. Identifying the scope
Management Planning Expectations

Christopher Young, independent consultant
Presentation slides
Presentation final speaking notes
WHS Management guidance documentation

Susan Denyer, ICOMOS UK
Presentation slides

Day 2

Sue Stolton, Equilibrium research
Presentation slides

Case studies:

Will Garrett – Edinburgh WHS – Presentation
Beth Thomas – Stonehenge and Avebury – Presentation
John Scott – Frontiers of the Roman Empire: Hadrian’s Wall – Presentation
Miles Oglethorpe – Forth Bridge – Presentation

Workshop session:

Combined Feedback from final session

Attendees list

The final participant list is available Delegate list Edinburgh Jan 2016


Feedback is available here: WH UK Edinburgh Technical Meeting Feedback


Our thanks to Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh City Council (for the walking tour) and all speakers and participants for coming along and making it such an enjoyable and stimulating event.

Sustainable Development at World Heritage Sites


For those those of you who are not aware, in November last year, at the General Assembly of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, a Policy on the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention was adopted.

This policy was the outcome of a protracted, but intense period of work undertaken by UNESCO, led by Giovanni Boccardi of the World Heritage Centre in Paris.  The work involved experts and practitioners from around the world, and drew on other conventions and their policies of a similar nature.

In essence, the Policy sets out how the world’s 1000+ World Heritage Sites can contribute towards sustainable development, in all of its dimensions.   How this will relate to managing Sites in practice is yet to be worked out, and I expect that  it will be a couple of years before guidance gets to Site level.  However, the principles of the policy are sound and it would be a useful document for all Site managers to have a look at, particularly those just starting to think about revising Management  Plans.

The document can be downloaded here. Please do feel free to share  your comments on the document here.

‘Our World Heritage Sites’ menu – finally something to shout about!


‘Our World Heritage Sites’ menu – finally something to shout about!

Regular visitors to this website will have noticed the lack of any action on the menu marked “Our World Heritage Sites”.  Well, in November 2015, I was lucky enough to have a highly capable volunteer to start to put this together for World Heritage UK.

Diana Rahman, recently graduated from a Masters in World Heritage Studies at the Ironbridge Institute, University of Birmingham, was able to spend five weeks with my Team on the Jurassic Coast experiencing the day to day running of a World Heritage Site.  In amongst the work for us, she found time to put together the basic information needed for this section of the WH:UK website, and I hope you will agree she has done an excellent job.

The information for each site is more in the form of metadata, with links to other Sites, and we would not aim to expand much beyond this because of the time implications in maintaining information. But, coordinators and other experts, please do check the facts for your Sites and let us know at if corrections are needed.  I have assured Diana that we will make the design better in the future, but at least the information is now up there for all to see!

You can find the main page here, and explore from there.


Sam Rose,
Chair of Trustees, World Heritage  UK