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World Heritage Sites & Nature

July 12 @ 9:00 am - July 13 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0

Free – £200.00

World Heritage UK’s summer workshop will look at what World Heritage Sites can do for nature.

The workshop will be held at the University of Cumbria at Ambleside and presentations will be broadcast digitally too.

There will also be the opportunity to undertake excursions into the Lake District, to see how the English Lake District World Heritage Site is managing its OUV and nature harmoniously.

Only digital tickets now available.


Tuesday 11th July – arrive Ambleside

Wednesday 12th July

08.30 – Early morning WHS Coordinator (Mairi Lock)- and Lake District National Park Ranger (Dave Fell)-lead walk to Rydal and back (optional)

10.30 – Teas and Coffees

11.00 – Welcome from Steve Ratcliffe, Chair of The English Lake District WHS Steering Group, Director of Sustainable Development LDNPA and WHUK Trustee

11.10 – Key note ‘Defining Nature‘, David Renwick, Regional Director North Natural England and Dr. Jonathan Larwood, Principal Adviser – Geodiversity, Natural England

11.40 – ‘Putting the ‘S’ in UNESCO: the Natural Science programme and natural sites‘, Matt Rabagliati, UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC)

12.05 – Introduction to UNESCO designations Geoparks with Andy Bell, Director, North Devon Biosphere (dialing in); followed by a roundtable with representatives from a Biosphere and World Heritage Site, led by UKNC

12.30 – Q&As

13.00 – pick up sandwich packed lunch for journey

Afternoon site visits – delegates will split into two groups; one going Goldrill then Aira, the other vice versa

13.00 – leave Ambleside

Goldrill, nr Brotherswater, with National Trust’s Project Manager Rebecca Powell – to see firsthand how restoring nature and managing the cultural landscape can work hand-in-hand

Aira Force, Ullswater, guided by a NT Curator – to see a designed landscape/cultural site that is also working on nature diversity and improvement

16.45 – return to Ambleside

17.30 – arrive Waterhead Pier

17.45 – “Love Windermere” cruise with Windermere Lake Cruise, including refreshments and talks from our sponsors United Utilities and the Environment Agency

18.45 – return to Waterhead; walk back to town

19.30 – evening social/meal at Ambleside’s Tap Yard [please select the ticket option below]

Thursday 13th July 2023

9.15 – Welcome from Dr Helen Manns, Interim Director, Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, University of Cumbria

9.30 – ‘What are World Heritage Sites doing for nature already?‘ Introduced and Chaired by Dr Sam Rose, WHUK Trustee

  • Natural World Heritage in the UK, past, present and a future role – Dr Sam Rose, Founding Chair of World Heritage UK and freelance nature consultant
  • The National Trust at Castlefield Viaduct (nature in urban areas) – Kate Picker, Operations and Experience Manager, Castlefield Viaduct
  • The Tower of London’s ‘Superbloom’ (encouraging biodiversity) – Tom O’Leary, Director of Public Engagement HRP (dialing in)
  • The National Trust & World Heritage & Nature (balancing nature and heritage) – Sarah France, WHS Coordinator, Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
  • “Working for nature for last 9,000 years and looking to the future as the first peatland World Heritage Site: The Flow County” – Dr Steven Andrews, Flow Country World Heritage Project Coordinator

10.45 – morning break

11.00 – ‘Mutually managing farming and nature in the Lake District‘ – Prof. Lois Mansfield

11.30 – ‘Finding funding for nature recovery‘ – Dawn Isaac, Natural England’s Senior External Funding Specialist and Chris Kaighin, Natural England’s Cumbria Area Manager

12.00 – ‘The visitor experience and the nature message‘ – National Trust’s Laura Ruxton (GM Central Lakes) and Jamie Lund (NW Archaeologist) (tbc)

12.30 – Q&As

13.00 – pick up sandwich packed lunch for journey

Afternoon site visits; groups split into two; delegates have the option of visiting Robinson Place Farm or Allan Bank (first come first served basis – please email Alex your choice); then onto Dove Cottage

Group 1:

13.45 – Robinson Place Farm, Langdale – to see and hear firsthand how to balance managing an upland farm (and hence attributes of OUV) and doing more for nature; with farmer Jennie Hill

15.15 – Dove Cottage, Grasmere – welcome from the Wordsworth Trust, then split into two groups to enter Dove Cottage (15.40 and 15.50)

16.30 – Leave Dove Cottage to return to Ambleside

Group 2:

13.30 – Allan Bank, Grasmere; see how the National Trust has transformed the estate/parkland/landscape around the built heritage (Lake District villas as OUV theme Inspiration) for the betterment of nature; with Rebecca Costello, Senior Gardener

14.30 Dove Cottage, Grasmere; visit the home of William Wordsworth and to learn more about his role in the birth of landscape conservation movement (Lakes’ OUV theme Conservation); two groups to enter Dove Cottage at 14.40 and 14.50

16.00 – return to Ambleside and end of the workshop.


  • Digital ticket £75
  • Students will receive a 10% discount on all tickets. Please contact WHUK via alex.mccoskrie@worldheritageuk.org to book

There will also be a social event at Ambleside’s Tap Yard on the Wednesday night. Please book your space via the Tickets Option below. Click here for the menu. Your order will need to be pre-ordered and paid on the night.

Important information for delegates:

  • Click here for the University of Cumbria Ambleside campus welcome pack
  • The University of Cumbria at Ambleside has a number of stairs. You will get your daily steps in!
  • Come prepared for the great Lake District outdoors – walking boots/shoes and water proofs; there’s no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices
  • Parking at the University of Cumbria is £5.80 per day; click here for the university’s cashless parking details
  • For details on local public transport, please click here
  • For details of parking in Ambleside, please click here
  • Click here for a map of the Ambleside campus of the University of Cumbria
  • If you have any questions, please contact WHUK Trustee Jane Gibson on 07715 260175

The workshop is supported by Natural England, United Utilities, the Environment Agency, Windermere Lake Cruises, National Trust and Lake District National Park.

Image © Andrew Locking/LDNPA


July 12 @ 9:00 am UTC+0
July 13 @ 5:00 pm UTC+0
Free – £200.00
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World Heritage UK
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University of Cumbria
The Barn, Rydal Road
Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9BB United Kingdom
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