Events to set out reasons to support UNESCO World Heritage Site status for The Flow Country
TV historian and archaeologist Neil Oliver and geology’s ‘rock star’ Professor Iain Stewart will be joined by UNESCO expert Professor Barry Gilbertson in a series of talks in the Highlands this summer that answer the question Why make The Flow Country a World Heritage Site?
The ‘Full Flow’ events, which will take place in Lairg, Thurso and Inverness on 5, 6, and 7 July respectively, invite audiences to hear about the environmental and cultural importance of The Flow Country in Sutherland and Caithness, addressing Scotland’s climate emergency, the need to protect the spectacular beauty and wildlife of the area’s unique habitat and the part it plays in the lives of people who live here.
Organised by a consortium of leading conservation bodies, including members of The Peatlands Partnership and event sponsor Wildland Limited, the three talks will promote and add context to an ongoing bid for UNESCO World Heritage Site Status for The Flow Country. With presentations from TV personalities, conservation experts and lovers of Scotland’s natural heritage, the hope is that the Full Flow events will appeal to a wide audience, including children and young people interested in what a World Heritage Site would mean for them.
Neil Oliver is a familiar face on TV and his documentaries on Scotland’s coastline have helped to put many remote places on the map. Prof Iain Stewart is UNESCO Chair of Geoscience and Society and Professor of Geoscience Communication at the University of Plymouth, is also a regular presenter of science programmes on the BBC, including the BAFTA nominated Earth: The Power of the Planet (2007).
Prof Barry Gilbertson holds Visiting Professorship appointments at University of Northumbria and at the Royal Agricultural University. In 2017, he took up a three year tenure as the Chairman of the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Project Co-ordinator for The Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group, Joe Perry, will be at the events to bring the conversations back to the current bid consultation process. He said: “Bringing together three such passionate advocates of Scotland’s natural and cultural environment will help to bring the bid process to life for many more people, including the younger generation whose support and enthusiasm for thriving communities and natural habitats we believe is absolutely crucial for the future stability of The Flow Country. The events will be entertaining and informative, setting out why The Flow Country is the best habitat of its type anywhere in the world and so deserving of special status on an international stage.
I encourage everyone to come along to one of the talks. As support for our World Heritage Site Project grows, this is a perfect opportunity to help shape the bid and be a part of something very special.”
Thomas MacDonell, Director of Conservation at Wildland Limited added: “The Flow Country is a fabulous natural feature. It’s already highly designated under various conservation laws and this World Heritage Status bid will give few additional constraints but afford much greater recognition and appreciation for this special place and create additional opportunities for those of us who live, work and play in this world class landscape.
“Wildland Limited is delighted to sponsor this event and we very much hope to engage and enthuse our younger generations to come and take part and begin to further appreciate our unique and precious landscapes.”
Full Flow Event Details:
All media enquires: Elizabeth Lambley, Indigo, 0131 554 1230, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Peatlands Partnership includes Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission (Scotland), The Highland Council, RSPB Scotland, Plantlife International, the Environmental Research Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands), Highland Third Sector Interface, the Flow Country Rivers Trust, Northern Deer Management Group and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It is chaired by Professor Stuart Gibb, Vice-Principal of UHI and Director of the ERI.
The Peatlands Partnership was formed at the end of 2006 following the completion of the EU LIFE funded Peatlands Project and aims to develop and build on that project. The Partnership comprises ‘core’ organisations, together with other interested organisations and individuals, who will carry out and support the objectives set out in the Management Strategy document, ‘The Peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland’.
The current activities of the Partnership include delivering the Flows to the Future project, revision of the Peatlands Management Strategy and as a forum for taking forward the possible listing of the Flow Country as a World Heritage Site.
Wildland Limited is a land conservation and tourism business established in 2007. It owns 221,000 acres, spanning three management areas: Wildland Cairngorm, Wildland North Coast (Sutherland) and Wildland Lochaber West Highlands, encompassing some of Highland Scotland’s most rugged and beautiful landscapes. Aldourie Castle on Loch Ness is included in the portfolio.
Wholly owned by Anders Holch Povlsen, Wildland Limited has 200 year vision for restoring and protecting the natural capital of the estates in its care by developing a world class portfolio of quality, design-led tourism experiences that support diverse economic opportunities for rural communities and allow guests to enjoy the best of Scotland’s hospitality, natural heritage and landscape.
With a staff of over 60 in Scotland, Wildland Limited also contributes directly into the communities in which it operates. Alongside the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission, it is a founding partner in Cairngorms Connect, the biggest habitat restoration project in Britain, while in Sutherland it has provided funds to appoint an officer to oversee the World Heritage Site Status bid and a local affordable housing officer.