Presentations from the Tower conference are available here.
Local businesses in the English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site are showing their support for its new global recognition with huge enthusiasm. Today, at the Westmorland County Show, the partners that developed the successful bid for inscription launched their branding for the UK’s most recent World Heritage Site – with great popular appeal. Taking a simple but welcoming approach the brand clearly identifies the place but cleverly encourages its adoption by local people for use in promoting activities, destinations, services and products using the specific font style.
On display at the showground today, ably hosted by team members from the Lake District National Park Authority and the National Trust, were some great examples of how locally produced goods are promoting themselves and the World Heritage Site as a result of this partnership. From local ‘Lovingly made in….’ cosmetics, to Cumbrian beer and coasters, even a ‘World Heritage relish’ and the Herdwick wool handbags made famous on Kate Humble’s recent BBC programme, ‘Back to the Land’. These will all benefit from their association with the World Heritage Site and vice versa as the site is promoted through these local products.
It’s a win-win plus as sustainability is at the heart of this initiative. Sustainability of the land and its heritage conservation, sustainability of the local economy required to underpin it, and sustainability of the local communities that live and work here. And what a great showcase this will be for the visitors who will come here from across the world as a consequence of the UNESCO network of World Heritage Sites. There was a great sense of pride around this event today, and with good reason. The English Lake District is really making the most of its hard-won world heritage status.
You can meet Alex and Mairi (above) at the World Heritage UK conference at the Tower of London on 15th and 16th October where they will be with other UK World Heritage Site Coordinators. There are still some tickets left and you can register at: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/setting-the-scene-for-world-heritage-tickets-46877370477
Hi, my name is Valentina Sabucco, a post-graduate student from Newcastle University on a placement at the Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site.
World Heritage UK is currently preparing a bid to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund Resilient Heritage grant and I am helping to organise a survey for your input to help guide the application. Will you help me?
World Heritage UK aims to become a more sustainable and resilient organisation, improving our professional skills and offering the chance for everyone who is interested and passionate about heritage to bring his/her contribution to the organisation.
For this purpose, the following questionnaire has been designed to help our organisation identify its strengths and reveal areas for improvement. The survey usually takes only two minutes to be completed.
We would really appreciate everyone’s participation as we do value your feedback and we would like to build on your comments towards the next steps towards a more resilient future.
The link to the short questionnaire is: HERE
WORLD HERITAGE UK’S RESPONSE TO DRAFT REVISED NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR ENGLAND
The Government’s planning policies for England are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Government has recently announced its intention to revise the Framework and has consulted on a draft revision. World Heritage UK (WH:UK) responded to the consultation.
As a State Party to the World Heritage Convention, the United Kingdom is required to protect, preserve, present and transmit to future generations its World Heritage Sites. It does this primarily through its planning systems. In the last 18 months, WH:UK has been working to suggest how the UK’s planning systems could be improved further to meet these responsibilities. It based its response to the Draft Revised National Planning Policy Framework largely on this work.
In its response, WH:UK pointed out that England’s World Heritage Sites include a wide range of historic monuments and past industry, landscapes, townscapes, and natural and ecological features. Therefore they will be affected by many of the policies in the NPPF. They cannot be treated as a single homogenous entity.
The full text of WH:UK’s response can be found under Correspondence and Consultations on its website Response to draft NPPF May 18 – resubmission final.
The key points in WH:UK’s response are:
- Recognition. WH:UK welcomes the recognition given to the protection of World Heritage Sites in various places in the Draft Revised NPPF. It urges that, in due course, such protection should be enshrined in primary legislation.
- Development Plans. WHUK strongly disagrees with the proposed changes to the nature of the “development plan”. The Draft Revised NPPF states that, while local planning authorities will be obliged to produce a plan that addresses the strategic priorities for their area, there would be no obligation on them to produce more detailed policies in a Local Plan. However Local Plans contain the very policies that currently protect, preserve and help present World Heritage Sites. They cover issues such as good design, the type of development that is or is not acceptable at or adjacent to World Heritage Sites, the protection of Sites’ settings and/ro buffer zones and the promotion of conservation. It cannot be assumed that local authorities will voluntarily produce local plans. If they do not, this would severely weaken the effectiveness of the planning system in helping to deliver the State Party’s obligations on World Heritage Sites.
- Pre-application engagement. WH:UK welcomes the continuing support for pre-application engagement. It has encouraged its members to be more actively involved in decision-making processes and recognises the value of early dialogue.
- Economic value of World Heritage Sites. WH:UK suggested that the NPPF should recognise the economic value of World Heritage Sites both locally and nationally.
- Good design. WH:UK strongly supports the encouragement of good design. It does not agree that it would be acceptable for increased densities to overrule local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting. Such an approach could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of a World Heritage Site or its setting and/or buffer zone, all as interpreted by policies in the respective local plan or plans.
- Green Belt. Similarly, while WH:UK understands the need to make best use of urban land and to protect the Green Belt, it is important to appreciate that this policy approach can threaten the Outstanding Universal Value and/or setting/buffer zone of some World Heritage Sites by increasing development pressures within urban areas. This is a question of priorities, which the Revised Draft NPPF does not resolve. Instead it states that development in Green Belts may be approved in “very special circumstances” while “Substantial harm or loss of …World Heritage Sites should be wholly exceptional.” WH:UK believes that, given their worldwide importance, World Heritage Sites should take precedence over Green Belts, and therefore there may be circumstances where it would be appropriate to review Green Belt boundaries to relieve development pressures at or adjacent to World Heritage Sites.
- Natural World Heritage Sites. WH:UK is seriously disappointed that the chapter on conserving and enhancing the natural environment does not recognise or set out policies for England’s natural World Heritage Site (the Dorset and East Devon Coast) or any such sites that may be inscribed in the future. The existence of such sites is recognised only in a footnote in the chapter on conserving and enhancing the historic environment, and then no indication is given as to whether the policies applicable to World Heritage Sites in that chapter apply to natural sites. Nevertheless, WH:UK warmly welcomes the new reference in the first paragraph of that chapter to World Heritage Sites, which provides a clear signal in respect of the Sites’ importance.
- Heritage Impact Assessments. WH:UK strongly encourages the use of Heritage Impact Assessments to help local planning authorities determine development proposals, and considers these should be mentioned in the NPPF.
- Development within World Heritage Sites. WH:UK supports of the proposed retention of the requirement on local authorities to “look for opportunities for new development within World Heritage Sites…to enhance or better reveal their significance;” while recognizing that not all elements of a World Heritage Site will necessarily contribute to its significance.
- Minerals development. World Heritage UK welcomes the continued protection of World Heritage Sites through the provision of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside these areas as far as is practical. However that protection should also be applied to areas that form part of the setting and /or the buffer zone of Sites, as interpreted by policies in the respective local plan or plans. Also the text addressing the issues on oil, gas and coal exploration and extraction is very weak in relation to heritage issues. In this respect, WH:UK advocates a similar approach as for non-energy minerals.
Author credit: Donald Gobbett, World Heritage UK Board Member
The Peatlands Partnership and the Flow Country proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site Steering Group wish to appoint a Project Coordinator to take forward the Technical Evaluation for submission to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2019. The post has been advertised by Highland Council on My JobScotland where you can find more details at https://www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/highland-council/jobs/world-heritage-project-co-ordinator-114206 .
Hundreds of people came to see His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales as the guest of honour at a special community event on 26th March, to mark the Lake District as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The long journey to World Heritage Site status was led by Lord Clark of Windermere, managed by the Lake District National Park Partnership and submitted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Historic England.
The Prince of Wales attended the event at Crow Park, Keswick, and unveiled the official UNESCO plaque to mark the designation. As Chairman of the Partnership, Lord Clarke maintained, “this plaque will give local people and visitors a place to come and appreciate not just the spectacular landscape, but also the rich, cultural history of the Lake District as a World Heritage Site”.
The event was a celebration of the unique cultural landscape of the Lake District to which special guests and members of the community were invited to attend. Among these was World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, who explained the work of the organisation to the Prince of Wales, finding that the guest of honour fully understood the values that underpin the UK’s World Heritage Sites, as well as the issues they face. Michael Ellis, the new Heritage Minister was also present, and it is hoped that a further meeting with him and World Heritage UK will be arranged.
UNESCO asks all World Heritage Sites to celebrate their status by erecting an official plaque, but with so many inspirational viewpoints to choose from across the Lake District, a number of locations and plaques were considered by the Partnership. The criteria included a stunning landscape view, good public access for all and strong representation of the three World Heritage Site themes of cultural landscape: identity, inspiration and conservation. The National Trust’s Crow Park, overlooking Derwent Water, was chosen for this special event.
Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, explained how the benefits of this new status were already being seen across the National Park. “Since last summer, we have seen some great examples of organisations, businesses and communities using World Heritage status to flourish and prosper,” Richard said. “From inspirational cultural events to welcoming first-time visitors to the park, this global recognition has encouraged new opportunities, while continuing to be a much loved national park for everyone to enjoy.”
The English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of over a thousand across the world and is the 31st inscription for the UK. It is the UK’s largest World Heritage Site at 229,200 ha and is the only UK National Park that is entirely a World Heritage Site.
There are three themes that underpin the English Lake District World Heritage Site inscription are:
1) Identity: The acknowledged beauty of the Lake District is the result of thousands of years of industry and agricultural development of the spectacular natural landscape of mountains, valleys, lakes and woodland.
2) Inspiration: The beauty of the Lake District inspired artists and writers of the Picturesque and Romantic movements and generated ideas about landscape that have had global influence.
3) Conservation: The Lake District has been enjoyed and valued by visitors for more than 250 years. Concern to protect it was the inspiration for the birth of the conservation movement, including the National Trust and protected areas including UK National Parks.
Jodrell Bank Observatory has been chosen as the UK’s nomination for World Heritage site status in 2019, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis announced today.
The Observatory, part of the University of Manchester, is home to the Grade I Listed Lovell Telescope and is a site of global importance in the history of radio astronomy.
Founded in 1945, it is the earliest radio astronomy observatory in the world still in existence and pioneered the exploration of the universe using radio waves.
The UK currently has 31 World Heritage Sites, with The Lake District having been inscribed in 2017.
In order to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site, nominations must show that they possess Outstanding Universal Value, which transcends borders.
The nomination will now be formally assessed by the International Council of Sites and Monuments before the World Heritage Committee decides whether it will join the likes of The Great Barrier Reef, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China as a designated World Heritage Site.
Jodrell Bank is the only site in the world that includes evidence of every stage of the post-1945 development of radio astronomy. As well as the Lovell Telescope, it also includes the Grade I Listed Mark II Telescope and the Park Royal building, which was the control room for the Transit Telescope, whose detection of radio waves from the Andromeda Galaxy confirmed that the Universe extends beyond our own galaxy.
Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said:
“Jodrell Bank played a central role in transforming our understanding of the Universe and is therefore a site of global importance.
“The nomination process for UNESCO is rightly thorough but I believe Jodrell Bank deserves to be recognised.
“The diverse heritage of the UK is world renowned and the observatory would be a worthy addition to our list of World Heritage Sites.”
Professor Teresa Anderson, Director of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre said:
“The Jodrell Bank Observatory, and Lovell Telescope in particular, have become icons of science and engineering around the world and we’re delighted to reach this milestone. We have been preparing the case for nomination for inclusion of Jodrell Bank on the World Heritage list for several years now and we look forward to showcasing its rich scientific heritage on the international stage.”
Professor Tim O’Brien, Associate Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, said:
“Jodrell Bank really is an iconic site and institution, not just here in the northwest of England but to people around the world.
“It is the one remaining site, worldwide which has been a working observatory from the very first days of radio astronomy to the present day. It’s important that we protect its rich heritage as we celebrate its current and future work.”
Last year the Government announced it will award £4 million to Jodrell Bank to help fund its new interpretation centre project, promoting the historically significant scientific work.
Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site is working with another famous historic defensive structure, The Great Wall of China, to encourage tourism and increase cultural understanding of the respective World Heritage Sites.
John Glen, then Britain’s minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, announced the agreement which will see representatives of both UNESCO sites explore the challenges and opportunities of managing large and complex archaeological remains, and to examine the potential tourism growth in both countries.
“The Wall to Wall Collaboration is the perfect example of how heritage can be used to strengthen international partnerships, grow tourism and build a truly global Britain,” said Glen.
The agreement is the first of its kind and was instigated by the Chair of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site Partnership Board and World Heritage UK member Humphrey Welfare. Talks took place during a high-level meeting in Beijing between British and Chinese heritage experts in February 2017, led by the British Council.
Humphrey said ‘The two Walls are very different in many ways, but we have much in common and can learn a great deal from each other. The enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism of our Chinese colleagues have been inspiring and hugely enjoyable: a terrific example of UNESCO values in practice.’
Historic England and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage signed an official agreement on December 7th 2017, the first actions of which will be a professional seminar to be held in Newcastle in March 2018. This will focus on the conservation of the Walls and the impact of visitors; it is the first step in a wider programme of collaboration between the two Sites which will also encompass exhibitions, lectures, technical discussions and educational exchanges.
Tickets are selling fast for the World Heritage UK technical workshop ‘Commercial Best Practice in World Heritage’ to be held at the Kew Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site on the 6th and 7th March 2018.
Details are being finalised but this World Heritage UK workshop ‘Commercial Best Practice in World Heritage’ is not to be missed! It will include speaker experts from the top of their professional game and some unique behind-the-scenes experiences not available to the visiting public at the Kew Gardens UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The developing workshop package includes:
2 day entry to Kew Gardens
Three workshop sessions on commercial best practice with top speakers for your CPD
Exclusive access to preview two new exhibits – The Pagoda and The Temperate House
1 hour Explorer Bus tour of Kew Gardens
‘Back of House’ experience – see the rarest of plants and hear from the horticultural scientists conserving them
Two Lunches and refreshments
Evening networking dinner in Richmond (optional extra)
Tickets are just £95 plus Eventbrite booking fee (or £20 for World Heritage UK Voting Member organisations, to cover catering and admin costs).
Ticket booking and outline programme details are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/world-heritage-uk-workshop-commercial-best-practice-in-world-heritage-tickets-42086363446
More details on the programme will be circulated shortly.
Advance booking is essential as only 50 places are available for the workshop sessions and behind the scenes tours. Please be advised that 33% of the places available for this workshop have been snapped up already so if you or your colleagues do intend to come to the Kew Gardens workshop you are advised to secure your place as soon as possible or you may be disappointed.
Please do share this message with relevant colleagues and networks.