World Heritage Day Monday 18 April 2022

April 4, 2022 Published by Alex McCoskrie

World Heritage Day (originally known as the International Monuments and Sites Day) is a global celebration of this planet’s heritage. It’s all about increasing the awareness of the importance of the diversity of cultural and natural heritage and preserving this heritage for future generations.

Ancient monuments and natural treasures are assets for all around the world. But they need protection to ensure that they continue to be an asset for years and years to come. World Heritage Day is a collective effort of communities around the globe.

World Heritage Day was first established in 1982 by ICOMOS and was followed by UNESCO adoption during its 22nd General Conference. Each year has a theme: ICOMOS’  suggestion for 2022 is “Heritage and Climate“.

Here’s what’s happening at some of the UK’s WHSs…#worldheritageday

Durham Castle and Cathedral

In celebration of the International World Heritage Day, see Durham’s history come alive like never before! Running 11am – 7pm on the 18th April, the World Heritage Open Day will be an opportunity to see Durham’s hidden history. With activities running in Durham Cathedral, Palace Green Library and Durham Castle there will be something for everyone and a day out for the whole family. Join them for an Easter event for the bairns and exciting interactive exhibits during the day including wandering actors, arts and crafts, and live music from the best local bands. So pack a picnic or grab a bite from a local eatery and come explore the hidden history of this World Heritage Site.
Full programme at: www.thisisdurham.com/world-heritage-day/events-programme

City of Bath

Celebrate World Heritage Day with Bath and find out about the breadth and variety of the UK’s World Heritage. Join them for a day of free online talks on Friday 22 April to celebrate local and UK World Heritage, and to mark the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.

The live talks on Zoom will introduce attendees to what makes Bath and four other UK World Heritage Sites special. Building on Bath’s links made through World Heritage UK, they have invited representatives from a variety of UK Sites to present a talk about their Site and how they are interpreting it with audiences.

Each of the five sessions will consist of a talk about a World Heritage Site followed by Q&A (as submitted by attendees through the Q&A function in Zoom Webinar).

These sites represent the breadth and variety of the UK’s World Heritage. As well as local heritage, the talks will introduce a brand new inscription, a scientific heritage Site, a tentative Site highlighting climate emergency, and an historic Site in one of the UK’s overseas territories.

  • 10:00-11:00 Setting the Scene – introduction to the City of Bath and Great Spa Towns of Europe by Tony Crouch; presentation on Cleveland Pools about volunteer achievements by Alice Lepage; presentation from Beckford’s Tower about reinterpretation by Dr Amy Frost
  • 11:30-12:15 Introduction to the Flow Country – Dr Steven Andrews
  • 13:00-13:45 Introduction to the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales – Gwenan Pritchard
  • 14:15-15:00 Introduction to Jodrell Bank Observatory – Professor Teresa Anderson
  • 15:30-16:15 Introduction to Historic Town of St George and Fortifications, Bermuda – Dr Charlotte Andrews

Book your ticket at:


The Ironbridge Gorge WHS has seen its share of floods throughout history. This is year, was no exception and not even the worst flood it has experienced. That being said it grabbed the media’s attention. This combined with the signs marked ‘risk to life’ making the economic situation for the area worse, even to business that were not near the flood waters. The situation has devastated the local economy already struggling to come out of the pandemic. The economic impact is just one of the challenges the area is trying to overcome when with the floods. The other main challenge is finding funding to maintain and/or make the buildings flood resistant as flooding is expected to intensify.

This year for World Heritage Day Ironbridge are conducting a social media campaign to undertake the ‘heritage and climate’ topic proposed by ICOMOS. This is their attempt to help residents understand and appreciate the WHS they live in, as well as, encouraging tourists to come and stay longer, to boost the local economy and wonderful local businesses in the Gorge.

On April 18th please join Ironbridge to discuss what you love about the Ironbridge Gorge WHS and share your climate related photos. They will be using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and will be the first WHS to use TikTok. Please add to the discussion using the following hashtags:

#ironbridgegorgewhs#ironbridgegorgeworldheritagesite#industrialwhs#industrialworldheritagesite #birthplaceofindustry#birthplaceofindustrialrevolution#birthplaceofclimaterevolution

Jurassic Coast

For World Heritage Day, the Jurassic Coast shares its story through the journey of a pebble. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of being inscribed as a World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast Trust and RedBalloon/Bournemouth University, have created an animation that tells the journey of this journey.

The animation describes the pebble’s experience as it journeys through over 185 million years of Earth History. Watch the story at:

If you are visiting the Jurassic Coast, explore the World Heritage story in the wonderful museums and visitor centres along the Dorset and East Devon coasts.

World Heritage in Scotland

This World Heritage Day, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) will be celebrating Scotland’s Year of Stories by marking stories inspired by, written, or created across their six World Heritage Sites. With their Sites spanning from the Neolithic to the 20th century, you can imagine there are a fair few stories to tell!

Keep an eye out for a range of content appearing across HES social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This includes a series of animal inspired ‘Tails of Scotland’ and ‘My World Heritage Story’ posts showing different perspectives on the World Heritage sites from those who interact with them. In addition, make sure to take HES’ fantasy adventure quiz and find out which of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites you are!

Derwent Valley Mills

This year the theme for WH Day is ‘Heritage and Climate’. The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is a great example of how we can learn to be more sustainable, taking lessons from the history and heritage of the site.    

From the 1700s, mills in the Derwent Valley used water to turn waterwheels which powered machines to spin cotton and throw silk. It was the first time mass-production could be achieved, and it was all done in those early days without carbon fuels. These were the world’s first factories and they changed how things are made, how we live and how we work forever. 

DVM WHS has produced a short film that outlines what we can learn from the past about sustainability, how climate change is impacting on this internationally important heritage site and what is being done to help tackle climate change.

To see the film on YouTube click here.

Giant’s Causeway

This World Heritage Day, on the 18th of April, the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre will be celebrating with a spectacle of light. Using paper lanterns, one for every Natural World Heritage Site in the World (of which the Giant’s Causeway is one), 217 colourful paper globes will be hung from the Visitor Centre’s lights. One of our European Solidarity Corps volunteers, Salomé Bigot has hand-painted the names of each Natural WHS on each of the delicate paper lanterns, chosen to represent the fragility of these special places and the care needed to look after them.