New Coordinator at the Flow Country Tentative List World Heritage Site

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Welcome to World Heritage, Joe Perry! The Peatlands Partnership has just appointed Joe as their World Heritage Site Officer to take forward the idea of The Flow Country in Sutherland and Caithness becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS).

Joe is moving to the Highlands from Glasgow where he been working as a Project Manager for an environmental tour and experiences company that aims to connect young people in Scotland with our natural and cultural heritage.  In addition to an honours degree in history, he has an MSc in Environment, Heritage and Policy.

Joe Perry

New Coordinator Joe Perry 

The Flow Country is an area of deep peat, dotted with bog pools, that blankets much of Caithness and Sutherland. The Flow Country is the largest expanse of blanket bog in Europe and covers about 200,000 hectares. A recent academic study has described The Flow Country as being “the best peatland of its type in the world”. The idea that the Flow Country could be inscribed as a World Heritage Site has been investigated by The Peatlands Partnership for some time and the area has been on the UK’s Tentative List of WHS since 1999. A World Heritage Site Working Group was set up by the Partnership in 2017 this short-life working group is independently chaired by Mrs Frances Gunn of The Highland 3rd Sector Alliance and will have a fixed purpose to develop and submit a Technical Evaluation to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by the summer of 2019.

A Technical Evaluation is essentially a scaled-down version of a ‘nomination’ (application) to UNESCO and is assessed by an independent panel. Whilst it is the Peatlands Partnership’s aspiration that The Flow Country becomes inscribed as a World Heritage Site, it is DCMS which will decide whether the case is sufficiently robust to nominate the site to UNESCO.

theflowcountry.org.uk

“the best peatland of its type in the world”?

A considerable amount of work is required to complete the process and Joe Perry has been appointed to assist the Working Group in delivering this.

The Working Group has to carry out three main tasks which will take up to 18 months to complete:

  • Develop a boundary for the proposed WHS in consultation with a wide range of community and other interests.
  • Carry out an extensive community consultation covering all aspects of what a WHS could mean to local communities.
  • Complete all the reports and information required to support the Technical Evaluation and submit this to DCMS in the summer of 2019.

Chair of the Working Group, Frances Gunn, said “In the past we have relied solely on a number of partners fitting this work in alongside all their other duties and so it’s a great step forward to have a Project Officer in post who can dedicate all their time to taking the World Heritage Site proposals forward, especially an all-important community consultation across Sutherland and Caithness.”

Frances added “I am particularly grateful to Highland Council who will act as host employer for Joe and I’m also delighted that we have funded this post from both the public and private sectors. The post is generously supported by Wildland Limited, RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Highland Council.”

Nicole Wallace, Highland Council’s Environment Manager pointed out “Highland Council is happy to help the Peatlands Partnership take the proposals for UNESCO World Heritage Site status forward and I look forward to Joe starting work on this exciting project next month.”

“We shouldn’t let the fact that the Flow Country has been identified as the best peatland of its type in the world pass us by.  A Flow Country World Heritage Site would not only be an enormous accolade for the area and the many organisations, land managers, crofters and farmers who have maintained this area for generations but it would also bring many positive development opportunities and undoubtedly some challenges too.”  

The Peatlands Partnership

The Peatlands Partnership includes:  Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council, Forestry Commission (Scotland), RSPB Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, The Environmental Research Institute, Northern Deer Management Group, Flow Country Rivers Trust, The Highland Third Sector Interface and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It also liaises with local community groups, the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate and the North Sutherland Community Forest Trust.

The Partnerships is chaired by Professor Stuart Gibb of the Environmental Research Institute in Thurso and Highland Council’s representative on the Partnership is Nicole Wallace, Head of Environment.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Joe Perry  Project Coordinator, Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group

Joe.Perry@highland.gov.uk

07775 411270

Brigid Primrose Secretary: The Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group,

c/o Scottish Natural Heritage, Great Glen House, Inverness.

Brigid.Primrose@snh.gov.uk

01463 725251 

Ian Mitchell  Secretary: The Peatlands Partnership,

c/o Scottish Natural Heritage, The Links, Golspie.

peatlands_partnership@snh.gov.uk 

0300 067 3110  

WWW.THEFLOWCOUNTRY.ORG.UK

Meeting the Minister

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WP_20171018_10_53_51_Pro (2)

World Heritage UK’s Chair and President have met with John Glen, the Under Secretary of State for the Arts, Heritage and Tourism at Whitehall in London. Sam Rose and Chris Blandford introduced the Minister to the goals of World Heritage UK and a range of issues were discussed. One of the significant outcomes was an invitation to meet with a senior representative of Visit Britain, a meeting which will take place next week.

Seen here with one of Visit Britain’s ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign posters, the UK’s 31 globally recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites should fit nicely into this theme.

‘Communicating World Heritage’ conference tickets deadline #communicatingwh

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Communicating World Heritage Conference

7-10 October 2017

Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, UK

Bookings close on 29th September!

www.communicatingworldheritage.wordpress.com/tickets

There are just a few weeks left to book for the eagerly anticipated Communicating World Heritage Conference which will take place at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site from 7 to 10 October 2017. Tickets for the conference, and accommodation close to the venue, are being booked up quickly so don’t miss your chance to join a growing group of professionals, academics and practitioners to explore the many ways of communicating World Heritage to a variety of audiences, and discuss the latest research and global policy in relation to key themes such as World Heritage tourism, communities, education and specialist groups.

With conference tickets and local accommodation selling quickly, it’s best to book early. Take a look at the programme on our website to find out more about the speakers and sessions. Of course, within the programme there will be plenty of opportunity to network with colleagues, enjoy   informal drinks, conference dinner and walking tours to be announced.

Programme Highlights

We are delighted to be welcoming such a diverse and exciting group of speakers from organisations such as UNESCO, Historic England and the Heritage Alliance, as well as leading academics from around the world. Their specialist knowledge and expertise will provide a unique cross-disciplinary perspective on the communication of World Heritage, and a range of interesting talking points for colleagues throughout the conference.

Our full programme is available on the conference website, and a few of the many highlights over the four days include:

Michael Di Giovine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Professor Di Giovani will present “Communicating Sustainability through World Heritage Tourism,” examining the ways in which world heritage practitioners can engage with tourism to communicate sustainability values to a diversity of audiences. (Saturday 7th October).

Dr. Sophia Labadi, Senior Lecturer and co-Director of the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent (UK). Dr Labadi will present the paper “For Everyone? Communicating World Heritage values and Stake Holders.” This presentation will explore how the World Heritage terminology is difficult to understand, even for specialists, making it even more difficult to communicate to the public. There will be a focus on how communities are increasingly associating World Heritage with exclusions and how these communities have acted upon these exclusionary trends. Finally, Dr Labadi will examine the approaches that aim to bring about solutions to these issues. (Sunday 8th October)

Andrew Stokes, England Director for Visit England will join the join the ‘Heritage Leaders’ session to present the latest information on the value of World Heritage to the tourism market and how this can be communicated. (Monday 9th October).

Mr Bo Jiang, Vice President of ICOMOS-China and Mr Yimeng Zhang, Great Wall Protection Project at the China Academy of Cultural Heritage, will be giving presentations about two icons of World Heritage, the Silk Road and the Great Wall of China. This is a rare opportunity to hear speakers from this country on their specialist subjects and will provide great insight into communicating World Heritage with the wider world. (Tuesday 10th October).

 

To book your place, please visit www.communicatingworldheritage.wordpress.com/tickets

Culturally Natural? – report launch announced at #communicatingWH conference

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Sarah France from the National Trust’s World Heritage Site at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park and geologist Jonathan Larwood from Natural England have been working on the links between culture and nature in the UK’s World Heritage Sites for some time now. At last, the report of the ‘Culturally Natural or Naturally Cultural?’ workshop held at Fountains Abbey is ready and will be launched at the ‘Communicating World Heritage’ conference on 9th and 10th October at Ironbridge Gorge. The collaboration for the publication includes support from WWF UK, the IUCN National Committee UK and World Heritage UK.

The report contains papers from speakers at the workshop, results of some new research on Nature in the UK’s World Heritage Sites and forewords from UNESCO, IUCN and the Mayor of Ripon.

Early bird discounted tickets for the full 4-day conference are still available until the 31st August, after which the price reverts to the full rate, so book now to take advantage of the early bird rate at www.communicatingworldheritage.wordpress.com where you can also find the conference programme and other essential details.