English Lake District World Heritage Site inscription announced

Awards, Celebration, Conservation, Events, News, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites
Wasdale-5-Andrew-LockingWasdale – copyright Andrew Locking

From the World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow, Poland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO announced yesterday:

T­­­he English Lake District, a cultural landscape in North West England that inspired Romantic poets and conservationists including William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter, has been inscribed onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The Lake District was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in Krakow, Poland, in July 2017.

World Heritage Sites are areas recognised for their ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ (OUV), meaning their cultural or natural heritage transcends national boundaries and is of importance to present and future generations of all humanity. Recognised for its landscape of mountains, valleys and lakes intertwined with over 1,000 years of human activity, the Lake District will now become the UK’s 31st World Heritage Site, and one of five World Heritage Sites in the UK recognised as a “cultural landscape.”[1]

The UK’s 31 World Heritage Sites form an important part of the diverse UNESCO family in the UK. This now includes over 160 UNESCO designations such as Creative Cities, Global Geoparks, Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO Chairs. All these designations are working toward the common aim of enhancing peace, security and sustainable development by fostering international collaboration through education, science, culture, communication and information.

[1] These are Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (England), St Kilda (Scotland), Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (Wales), and the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (England).

 

Blenheim Palace wins Great China Welcome Award

Awards, Celebration, News, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

Blenheim Palace has won national recognition for its positive approach to welcoming visitors from China.

Blenheim_PalaceThe Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site was presented with the GREAT China Welcome award at VisitEngland’s prestigious Awards for Excellence event held at the Hilton Waldorf Hotel in London on Monday.

The GREAT China welcome programme aims to make Britain the destination of choice for the rapidly-growing Chinese market.

Blenheim Palace’s Operations Director, Heather Carter said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. Blenheim Palace is a living, changing experience with a wealth of events, themed tours and exhibitions throughout the year, and welcomes millions of visitors both from the UK and overseas. We were the first stately home to sign up for the GREAT China Charter and we are committed to developing our Chinese market.

“Blenheim is continually looking at innovative ways to improve and adapt the visitor experience to appeal to Chinese tourists and to underline the fact we are ‘China ready’,” she added.

Among the initiatives currently in place are Chinese guide books and guides, an audio guide and map on their website, a Mandarin speaking waitress in the Orangery and a menu in Mandarin. All staff also have the opportunity to enrol in Mandarin Chinese language classes free of charge.The team are about to produce audio recordings of some of the Palace and Gardens tours in a variety of languages; including Chinese.

Blenheim Palace was also among the first major UK heritage visitor attractions to accept UnionPay, the most widely used bank debit card throughout China and South East Asia.In addition to its on-site initiatives.  Blenheim Palace works with a number of Chinese travel groups, tour operators and trade missions in China.

At the centre of the programme is the GREAT China Welcome Charter which helps Chinese visitors to easily identify hotels, attractions, retailers and tour operators that are making themselves ‘China-ready’ by providing information in Mandarin or Cantonese and adapting their products for the Chinese market and culture.

Built in the early 18th century to celebrate Britain’s victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession, Blenheim Palace is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

LIVERPOOL – UK’S FIRST “HERITAGE ROLE MODEL”

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Liverpool- John Hickey-fryLIVERPOOL has become the UK’s first “Heritage Role Model” – after being chosen to help spearhead Europe’s biggest drive to develop historic city centres.

Liverpool is one of ten cities – and the only one in the UK – to successfully bid for 10 million euros of Horizon 2020 funding to examine how cities can use heritage as a powerful engine for economic growth.

Liverpool City Council is to receive just over 400,000 euros from the prestigious ROCK programme (Renewable Heritage in Creative and Knowledge Economies) which will be used to promote the city’s unique assets and develop community engagement around its Mercantile World Heritage Site (WHS) – the results from which will help create a new European strategy.

ROCK funded activities will include initiatives to increase participation such as a citizen/youth board, volunteer programmes and social and wellbeing projects hosted at the Grade I listed St George’s Hall, which will celebrate the 10 anniversary of its £23 refurbishment in April.

This will be coupled with new digital interpretation panels and ‘way finder’ signage to connect the historic waterfront (including the newly established RIBA Centre at Mann Island) to key historic and cultural assets such as the Town Hall, St George’s Hall and the wider St George’s Quarter.

The funding, which is to be to be approved by Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet in February, coincides with a five year review of Liverpool’s WHS which found that £427m has been invested in heritage buildings with a further £245m on site and in the pipeline.

The survey found that 18 listed buildings situated within Liverpool’s WHS have been refurbished/brought back into use since 2012 with council financial assistance, such as the Aloft Hotel, the award-winning Central Library and Stanley Dock. Similar schemes to a further 19 listed buildings within WHS are currently on site.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Receiving this European funding is a huge coup for Liverpool and demonstrates how highly the city is internationally regarded in the way it protects its heritage.

“This funding will allow us to invest in radically improving our marketing and interpretation of our key heritage assets to residents and visitors, which will help further fuel our global appeal and booming tourism economy. 

“The collaboration with such prestigious partners will also provide an invaluable opportunity to exchange best practice with other historic cities such as Athens, Bologna and Lisbon and will put us at Europe’s top table for heritage development.”

It is hoped ROCK heritage pilot activity will form the basis for more substantial initiatives to build on ‘best practice’ across partners, increase heritage participation in all age groups, and improve inclusion and wellbeing.

Knowledge exchange and mentoring will take place across all cities on best practice deployment of sensor technology to monitor and conserve Heritage assets.

The 32 partner project, overseen by the city of Bologna, includes expert representation from UNESCO, United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), European Universities Association (EUA), and URBACT and is the largest of its kind in the H2020 programme.

It is regarded as the pinnacle of international heritage research, the results of which will form the basis for a future European wide strategy linked to RSI3 smart specialisation.

Gorham’s Cave Complex is UK’s 30th World Heritage Site

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Amidst the current turbulence of Turkey’s political crisis, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has agreed to the inscription of the Gorham’s Cave Complex at its meeting in Istanbul yesterday. In the year that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the first World Heritage Sites for the UK, we can now rejoice on achieving its 30th World Heritage Site in as many years. Congratulations to all concerned on this success and best wishes for a safe return home.

_77321675_gorham'scave(left)

The Gorham’s Cave Complex is the last known site of Neanderthal survival, around 28,000 years ago, in the world; it provides one of the most detailed sequences in southern Europe, combining evidence of climate, sea-level and ecological change, of the critical period leading to the Last Glacial Maximum;  It contains a rich archive of plant and animal fossil material allowing a detailed reconstruction of ecological change and the subsistence ecology of Neanderthals.  The material from the excavations includes the largest collection of fossil bird species from this period anywhere in Europe.  This Complex also provides an insight into the arrival of Modern Humans to their last European outpost. The presence of Solutrean parietal and mobile art adds to the site’s significance.

WH YOUTH AMBASSADORS ARE NATIONAL VOLUNTEER GROUP OF THE YEAR!

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‘World Heritage Youth Ambassadors’ have won the NATIONAL VOLUNTEER GROUP OF THE YEAR  award!

This is one of the top volunteering awards in Wales presented by Welsh Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).  Nominated by Blaenavon Town Council for the work undertaken within the World Heritage Site, and for the work done during the Youth Summit.

The World Heritage Youth Ambassadors is a fully funded HLF project run by the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and led by Torfaen County Borough Council. It is a project that empowers young people aged 13-25 to have a voice and an active role in the management of the World Heritage Site and this has proved highly successful.

This prestigious award is a real testimony not only to the fact the volunteer programme works, but recognizes the hard work and dedication of a small but active bunch of young people who are making a real difference in the World Heritage Site.

 The award will be received on Friday 10th June at a ceremony in Cardiff Castle.

#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: http://whc.unesco.org/en/ourworldheritage