Project coordinator sought for proposed Flow Country UNESCO World Heritage Site

Announcement, communications, Conservation, Flow Country, Jobs, News, Opportunities, scotland, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Job opportunity!


The Peatlands Partnership and the Flow Country proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site Steering Group wish to appoint a Project Coordinator to take forward the Technical Evaluation for submission to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2019. The post has been advertised by Highland Council on My JobScotland where you can find more details at .

‘Running the Business of World Heritage’ – WHUK Networking & General Meeting 4th and 5th July 2017

Business, Events, Exhibition, Network meetings, New Lanark networking meeting 2017, News, training, Uncategorized, UNESCO, Workshop, World Heritage Sites

punlm211008001_o1 CropFollowing on from the success of last year’s World Heritage UK Networking Meeting at the Giant’s Causeway WHS, this year we move to Scotland and the unique and successful New Lanark WHS where we plan to share our experiences on ‘running the business of World Heritage’. So, a commercial theme this year and this is appropriate as the operation at New Lanark is an exemplar. There will be opportunities to learn from each other as we hear from world heritage colleagues on their experiences of business plans and strategies, innovative enterprises and products, hospitality and customer satisfaction and the interpretation of the offer that each World Heritage Site provides to sustain it as a viable and sustainable business. The event will also include a World Heritage UK General Meeting to meet the governance requirements of the charity.

The meeting will take place in the Bonnington Linn Conference Room at the New Lanark Mill Hotel on the 4th and 5th July where a limited amount of accommodation has been reserved for delegates. Booking is urgently required to secure any of the following: 5 bedrooms reserved in the New Lanark Mill Hotel (these are Bed and Breakfast) @£89.00 per night based on two sharing or @£65.00 per night for single occupancy.

17 bedrooms in the Wee Row Hostel (bedroom only but breakfast available separately) @£55.00 based on 2 sharing or £40.00 for single occupancy.

Delegates wishing to book this accommodation MUST either phone 01555 667200 or e-mail hotel and reference ‘Masters allocation’ for their booking to be made at these rates. Bookings cannot be made online. See or call 01555 667200 for more details.

The Eventbrite webpage for registration to this event is ready for your sign up HERE

The draft programme is in preparation but so far includes:

  • speakers and presentations from the UK’s World Heritage Sites
  • the World Heritage UK General Meeting
  • an evening reception with New Lanark WHS staff and Partnership Board, with a presentation by the New Lanark Chief Executive on access and new development
  • a 3-course networking dinner (optional) @£23.95
  • 5 specialised tours of the WHS – on architecture, power, textiles, social history and the general story of New Lanark

Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site valued at over £1 Billion


A new report has found that residents, visitors and businesses attach an economic value of between £1.2 – £1.4 billion to the World Heritage Site.

(PR Taken from EWH Website May 26, 2016)

The survey, using a Treasury-approved approach, is the first time the value of the city’s heritage has been measured in this way.

The report reveals the depth of public support for the World Heritage site. The survey found that 96% of respondents feel that the city’s heritage is beneficial, and that this support is regardless of respondents’ economic or social background. Residents, visitors and businesses all strongly support the conservation of Edinburgh’s heritage, and see the World Heritage Site as a public good and long-term legacy for future generations.

The report was designed to capture the relationships that residents, businesses and visitors have with the site, and to express this through the attribution of a monetary value. Importantly, the contingent valuation established by the research is entirely separate to the commercial activities of businesses and residents within the World Heritage Site.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage commented: ‘this pioneering report shows that the World Heritage Site is deeply valued, and that its long term maintenance should be a priority for public spending. It also demonstrates a tremendous breadth of support with visitors, residents, and businesses all seeing the benefit to the city.’

Brian Lang, Chairman of Edinburgh World Heritage said: ‘the World Heritage Site is a fundamental driver of the city’s economy, and plays a vital role in attracting over 4 million visitors every year. The research shows that this value is widely understood, with residents and businesses agreeing that investment in heritage has long-term benefits for the city.’

Cllr. Gavin Barrie, Convener of the Economy Committee, responded: ‘we are immensely proud of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. It brings tremendous value to the city and its economy and this research is to be welcomed. The report spells out why millions of visitors are flooding to Edinburgh every year to enjoy the World Heritage Site. This is of great benefit as the capital is heralded as the ‘gateway’ to the rest of Scotland. Our residents also take pride in the area and businesses report great benefits to the local economy. The evidence suggests that the economic value placed on the World Heritage Site drives investors’ financial decisions.

You can download a copy of the report here, or on the EWG website here.

The Forth Bridge World Heritage Site: from Historic Scotland’s man in Bonn


Mark Watson from Historic Scotland talks about his experience at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn representing the newly inscribed Forth Bridge World Heritage Site.

The World Heritage Committee met in Bonn, Germany, in July 2015. It was fascinating to see the relish with which diplomats use cultural and natural heritage to achieve soft, sometimes not so soft, diplomacy. There was a little contretemps about the place of human rights in the World Heritage Committee (properly affirmed by Portugal) and some depressing scenes from Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the latter subject of a UNESCO publication.

Each day saw a regular good natured demo by Greenpeace in respect of two natural sites, Wrangel Island and the Great Barrier Reef, and also one mounted by Koreans. The Operational Guidelines were reviewed line by line (e.g. to achieve gender equality, taking out all references to mankind, except in relation to man-made disasters) and the second cycle of periodic reporting concluded with the completion of the European and North American reports, with Chris Young now at the helm.

The Committee discussed and then included 24 cultural, one mixed and two natural sites in the World Heritage List, others being rejected, deferred, referred or having boundaries changed. It is noticeable that the committee, formed by states’ parties, if faced with a recommendation for deferral, often edged it into referral, or for referral, would often push it up to inscription. Some members were happy to acknowledge having recently visited a nominated site on the other side of the world.

In respect of the Forth Bridge, Historic Scotland wrote the nomination in consultation with the Forth Bridges Forum , comprising local authorities, community councils and others, and was represented in Bonn by Miles Oglethorpe and myself. Network Rail, Transport Scotland, Historic England, DCMS and DFID (the UK Ambassador to UNESCO) were also represented.

Comments from the Committee included:

“The Nomination should serve as an example. It is short, precise and convincing” (said Germany);

we are inspired and encouraged to see the possibilities of such a significant site as the Forth Bridge on the world heritage list” (Jamaica):

an outstanding structure of the 19th century, an example of human ingenuity and labour. We further congratulate the UK for the conservation of this bridge that allows continuous use since its inauguration in 1890. The World Heritage will certainly be improved with the inscription of the Forth Bridge” (Portugal).

On successful listing, Marco Biagi, Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment in the Scottish Government,  presented a very apposite two-minute speech, and this, the first UK inscription since 2009, was greeted with relief by all concerned.

You might like to see the Youtube film of the session, which is
The Forth Bridge comes up 2 hours 25 minutes in.

More details on the UNESCO website can be seen here The Forth Bridge (United Kingdom)



For interest, Michelle Thompson MP (Edinburgh, SNP) has submitted an EDM supporting the Bridge WH listing. The 39 signatories so far listed include some interesting names such as Peter Grant and Alex Salmond. I would expect the list to grow to a minimum of 65 given that all of the 56 SNP MPs are likely to sign up and there are already 9 signatories from other parties with many more expected.  Early Day Motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause. MPs register their support by signing individual motions. The more that sign up, the greater the chance that the matter will be debated in the chamber.

WH Committee meeting in Bonn Icomos presents Forth Bridge at Bonn 2015 mw (2)


The Forth Bridge becomes Scotland’s sixth World Heritage Site


Hot off the press, the World Heritage Committee in Bonn today inscribed the Forth Bridge onto the World Heritage List.  Their summary of the site is

“This railway bridge spanning the estuary of the Forth River in Scotland is the world’s longest multi-span cantilever bridge. It opened in 1890 and continues to carry passengers and freight. Its distinctive industrial aesthetic is the result of a forthright and unadorned display of its structural components. Innovative in style, materials and scale, the Forth Bridge is an important milestone in bridge design and construction during the period when railways came to dominate long-distance land travel.”

We hope to get more details from the Forth Bridge team soon, but it is a good day for Scotland’s and the UK’s World Heritage Sites,

Forth Bridge Copyright Historic Scotland

Copyright Historic Scotland