World Heritage UK technical workshop on 29th April at Blenheim Palace
With regret, our technical meeting ‘Restoration of World Heritage – repairs and how to fund them’, has been cancelled. Refunds on tickets will commence immediately. This news will come as little surprise given the latest government advice to avoid gatherings, crowded places, non-essential travel and contact with others. We would like to particularly thank all our speakers and everyone who had signed up to be part of discussions on the day, as well as our hosts at Blenheim Palace.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of this measure and thank you for your understanding. It is becoming clear that disruption caused by the virus outbreak is likely to last months rather than weeks. When the dust does settle, please do try to support our future events and the local institutions which keep our World Heritage Sites operating as many of them will take a severe financial hit from this downturn. Good wishes and good health to all.
Chair of Trustees
World Heritage UK
Blenheim Palace aerial photo credit © Blenheim Palace 2020
The first event of World Heritage UK’s events in 2020 will take place on Wednesday 29th April 2020 in The Marlborough Room at the magnificent Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site at Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
It will be a one-day meeting with the title ‘Restoration of World Heritage – repairs and how to fund them’. This is an area of work that the Blenheim Palace team have particular expertise in and are willing to share with participants, along with other contributors.
There will be in the region of £7-8 million worth of repairs underway at the time of the meeting, including dredging the lakes designed by Capability Brown, so plenty of opportunities to experience these with expert guidance, both inside the palace and in the extensive grounds.
Tickets priced at just £75 plus booking fee. Please register HERE
The draft programme is available at Blenheim Palace draft programme v5
Watch this space for updates on additional contributors.
Travel and accommodation information is also available at Blenheim Travel and Accommodation
An informal supper at a local hostelry is being planned for those travelling the day before. More details upon registration.
We look forward to seeing you there!
World Heritage UK is pleased to share the press release by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the announcement of the nomination of the Slate Mining Landscape of North West Wales for World Heritage Site status, including support from the UK Heritage Minister, Helen Whately. You can read the press release here:
As agreed by the World Heritage UK Board of Trustees, the first event of World Heritage UK’s events in 2020 will take place on Wednesday 29th April 2020 in The Marlborough Room at the magnificent Blenheim Palace UNESCO World Heritage Site at Woodstock in Oxfordshire. It will be a one-day workshop with the provisional title ‘Restoration in World Heritage Sites – repairs and how to fund them’. This is an area of work that the Blenheim Palace team have particular expertise in and are willing to share with participants. There will be in the region of £7-8 million worth of repairs underway at the time of the event, including dredging the lakes designed by Capability Brown so plenty of opportunities to experience these with expert guidance. Registration will be required to take part in this workshop and places will be limited, so do act swiftly when tickets become available in the next few weeks.
World Heritage UK’s summer workshop will be in the recently inscribed English Lake District UNESCO World Heritage Site on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd July 2020. The venue here will be the Ambleside Campus of the University of Cumbria, where we will be using the Percival Lecture Theatre to consider ‘Marketing World Heritage’. Further details to follow.
Preparations are already underway for World Heritage UK’s Annual Conference and AGM which this year will take place in Scotland with the all-too-important theme of ‘World Heritage and Climate Change’. Provisional dates to pencil in you diary at this stage are Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th September 2020, with venues expected to be either Glasgow or Stirling and to include visiting the Antonine Wall component of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further details to follow. (photo credit: www.sustainablebusinesstoolkit.com)
On behalf of all the Board of Trustees at World Heritage UK, I wish all our members, supporters and your families a very happy and restful Christmas.
2019 has been a busy year, set against a turbulent political back-drop and with the need to urgently address global environmental challenges which are undoubtedly becoming the defining issue of our age. We know through our networks the hard work that goes on every day at all of our 32 UK World Heritage Sites, often undertaken by just a few dedicated people and a pocketful of change. Hard work, creative minds and professional expertise then turn these ingredients into heritage protection and interpretation which is the envy of the world.
Christmas is a time for thankfulness and optimism. Perhaps we can look forward to a little more political stability in 2020? …and maybe even the prospect of more funding?! Whatever the New Year will bring, we will face it collectively with enthusiasm, mutual support and the knowledge that what we deliver, in conserving our irreplaceable cultural and natural heritage, is cherished by so many in this generation and those who will succeed us. They can’t always say thank you for all that you do, but I can.
Chair of Trustees
World Heritage UK
World Heritage UK’s President, Chris Blandford, attended the 5th European Meeting of the World Heritage Associations in Ibiza on the 26th and 27th November as an invited speaker. The conference was hosted by the Spanish World Heritage Cities Group who generously sponsored event costs.
The theme of the conference was ‘Sustainable Management of World Heritage Sites’ and papers were presented on economic, social and environmental approaches. Chris Blandford was invited to present a paper on ‘World Heritage: a New Opportunity for Global Tourism’, a version of the UK World Heritage Review summary he gave at this year’s annual conference in Llangollen. It was followed at the Ibiza meeting by a discussion on how most other European countries faced similar challenges but had not so far had the opportunity or resources to bring the case forward to their governments.
The UK Review’s main report includes a short section comparing the considerable support offered to other country Associations by their governments and the tourism sector, dissimilar to the UK situation. Nevertheless, the European country associations feel that the activities of World Heritage UK demonstrate good practice and are keen to maintain contact through the emerging umbrella group, the “European Group of World Heritage Associations”. A further outcome from this engagement is that World Heritage UK, through its presence at these meetings over the last few years, has been contributing to the evolution of an informal governance structure for this group.
Strengthening of World Heritage UK’s ties, relationships, and networking with the other European country World Heritage associations similar to World Heritage UK, together with the promulgation of the Review conclusions to a wider audience beyond the UK are of significance. The latter is obviously very relevant as the UK leaves the European Union and it reinforces the notion that World Heritage has “no boundaries” and will continue to be a pan-Europe concept.
In addition to increasing World Heritage UK’s international credibility, another outcome of being part of this group is learning how World Heritage works in different parts of Europe so that this can be used to expand the case for better support for World Heritage here.
Equivalent associations to World Heritage UK meet once a year to share experience and good practice. 80 delegates were represented in Ibiza, from Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and others. World Heritage UK has been regularly represented at these meetings and other workshops over the last three years and is developing a growing network of contacts across Europe. It is expected that the 2020 meeting will take place in Bordeaux.
Ibiza town is not all clubs and mega-yachts. The host World Heritage Site in Ibiza is a ‘Mixed’ cultural and natural site combining a dramatic and well preserved old town, citadel and defences (demonstrating visible stages from Roman, Islamic, Medieval and Renaissance periods) and an extensive marine and coastal ecosystem containing the rare seagrass habitat (Posidonia – an endemic species only found in the Mediterranean).
Hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion in spectacular North East Wales, this was the 5th Annual Conference and AGM for World Heritage UK and every bit as good as its predecessors. The programme was framed by a new World Heritage UK publication, a review of the state of UK World Heritage Sites called ‘UK World Heritage: asset for the future‘. The conference developed themes from the report, in particular on finance and governance, on diplomacy and ‘soft power’, and the impacts and benefits of tourism. This attracted an excellent range of speakers from as far abroad as Philadelphia, Hangzhou and Dublin as well as from the home nations of the UK, culminating in an expert panel fielding the questions raised by delegates. You can see some of the presentations via these links:
Allan Forrest Wrexham Council, ‘Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal’
Andrew MacClelland, Liverpool University ‘Heritage and the past in the UK’s diplomatic futures’
Aydin Zorlutuna, Arcadis, ‘Trevor Basin Area Masterplan’
Chris Blandford, World Heritage UK, ‘UK World Heritage Site Review’
Jane Gibson/Jo Shoebridge, Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site ‘Visitor Centre and local artisans’
Michael MacDonagh, Irish Government, ‘Irish perspectives – the challenges and opportunities for heritage’
Peter Moore, National Trust, ‘Looking to a Sustainable Future at Giant’s Causeway for Visitors and the National Trust’
Rebecca Burrows, Purcell, ‘Conserving 20th Century Buildings – an international approach to sustaining significance’
Xinyun Liang, Grand Canal Preservation Centre of Hangzou, ‘China Grand Canal’
Zabeth Teelucksingh, Global Philadelphia Association, ‘The World Heritage City Project – a Public-Private Partnership Model in Philadelphia’
Thanks to the many local partners who contributed to the event, participants experienced some memorable natural and cultural wonders provided by this World Heritage Site, including riding the aqueduct by narrowboat, viewing it illuminated by night, travelling the canal by horse-drawn boat, by routemaster bus to dine with a Welsh Male voice choir and visiting the steam railway at Llangollen. Follow this link to see the photographs of the whole event taken by Sam Rose.
Over a hundred participants in this event networked vigorously throughout the two days and the conference hall was fringed with pull-up banners and displays to assist in information exchange.
Among the many thanks, World Heritage UK is particularly grateful to Cadw and Welsh Government, Transport for Wales, Denbighshire and Wrexham Councils, Arcadis and Purcell consultancies for their support.
Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site Coordination unit is looking for Partnership Officer based in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. This is an exciting opportunity to work in the Wiltshire Council Heritage team on the management of one of the most iconic World Heritage Sites in the country.
For more information on the role and how to apply, follow this link to the Wiltshire Council Jobs page.
World Heritage UK notched up another success in its vibrant events programme last week with over 60 delegates and speakers filling the Prior’s Hall at the Durham Castle and Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site, to hear a wide range of speakers and experience some very special opportunities provided by their hosts. These included access to the new ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition which presented rare artefacts telling the story of St Cuthbert in the most intact medieval monastic buildings in the UK; sitting in the magnificent Durham Cathedral C17th Quire during evensong soaking up the atmosphere created by the Hexham Abbey Choir; self-guided tours around the Castle and Cathedral with exceptional volunteer guides on hand; and a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire UNESCO World Heritage Site, accompanied by top experts in the field. Feedback forms are still coming in but we are expecting a positive response overall and would like to thank all involved in Durham for making us all feel so welcome with their generous hospitality.
This summer networking event – ‘All Together Now – Sustainable World Heritage’ – brought together many expert speakers on a variety of subjects, from cultural property protection and peace to community engagement, young people and volunteering; from world heritage tourism in the north of England to heritage sustainability issues in South Asia and North Africa. The intention is to share the presentations via the World Heritage UK website in due course.
These are great ways to see the UK’s 32 world heritage sites, learn more about them and meet the dedicated community of world heritage people who work in and around them. If you would like to take part in one of World Heritage UK’s special events, your next opportunity to do so is at the annual conference, this year being held at the Llangollen Pavilion in North Wales, hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site on the 7th and 8th October 2019. Here we will be discussing the soon-to-be-published review of the UK’s World Heritage Sites and will have a national and international cast of speakers from all parts of the UK and Australia, China and the USA to help us do so. Side events and tours include a barge (or walk) over Thomas Telford’s famous aqueduct, a horse-drawn boat trip on the Llangollen canal, a heritage steam railway experience and a civic reception and dinner with a Welsh Male Voice Choir. Tickets are available now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-the-most-of-world-heritage-tickets-66862803445
Our events are becoming increasingly popular so book soon to avoid disappointment!
With thanks to Historic England and Purcell for their support for the Durham event.