English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated by royal visit

Announcement, Awards, communications, DCMS Minister, Lake District, News, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

WP_20180326_10_25_56_ProHundreds 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.

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Prince Charles unveils the UNESCO plaque with Lord Clarke

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.

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Chris Blandford meets the Prince of Wales with John Hodgson and Keith Jones

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.

 

UK puts forward Jodrell Bank Observatory as 2019 World Heritage nomination

Announcement, communications, DCMS Minister, Jodrell Bank Observatory, News, Technology, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

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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.