Happy World Heritage Day!

Uncategorized, UNESCO, world heritage day, World Heritage Sites
WorldHeritage-116

Exploring the City of Bath World Heritage Site

While celebrations take place across the UK’s 31 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to mark the annual World Heritage Day today, the business of protecting these precious places continues, and World Heritage UK notes with sadness the damage by fire to Notre Dame Cathedral in the Banks of the Seine World Heritage Site in Paris, one of the 73 properties inscribed by UNESCO for France.

World Heritage UK continues to consolidate and strengthen, and will be aided by the recruitment of a Resilience Coordinator  funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund – this vacancy is still open for candidates and if you are interested in applying you can see more detail here

Watch this space for registration links to two upcoming events – the Summer Networking Meeting to be held at the Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site on the 6th and 7th August (with an optional coach excursion on the 8th August to Hadrian’s Wall, part of the transnational Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site), and the World Heritage UK Annual Conference and AGM, this year to be hosted by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site at the Llangollen Pavilion near Wrexham, on the 7th and 8th October.

Enjoy World Heritage Day 2019!

National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

Blaenavon welcomes ‘World Heritage Learning and Engagement’ technical workshop

Blaenavon, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Blaenavon group photo

Gareth Davies, Town Mayor of Blaenavon, hosted the forty participants from all four UK nations and the World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, at a civic reception at The Workmen’s Hall as part of a busy programme of activities at the World Heritage Learning and Engagement technical workshop held at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site in South Wales in February. These activities included a discussion on establishing a ‘World Heritage Learning and Engagement Network’, shared experiences amongst delegates of this important field of work with some useful and interesting case studies, hands-on creative workshops and some excellent site visits to the Ironworks and underground at Big Pit.

The varied presentations from the event are now available for sharing:

1 Introduction to Learning and Engagement by Ashleigh Taylor

2 Acting Locally, Thinking Globally by Dr Jamie Davies

3 Partnership with Purpose by David Williams and Dan Oliver

4 Engaging Young People in New Ways by Georgina Greaves

5 Unloved Heritage by Polly Groom

6 Evaluating Learning and Engagement by Ashleigh Taylor

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Cornish Mining World Heritage Site gets £1m for Wheal Busy conservation

Cornish Mining Landscape, News, Uncategorized
Wheal Busy Smithy Funding 1

One of the two impressive cast iron lintels of the Smithy, which give an indication of the proud 
spirit the mine company wished to convey through its reworking of Wheal Busy in the 1870s.
(Image: Ainsley Cocks)

Since 2014 the World Heritage site has prioritised Wheal Busy Smithy as a conservation project and for many years before this members of the team, the local community and Cornwall Council have searched for a solution to preserve this fantastic piece of history, which is a noted feature of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ within the World Heritage Site.

Whilst being a well-known feature in the Chacewater area, the building has unfortunately been underutilised for some time which has led to deterioration of the scantle-slate roofing. The winter storms of 2014 also caused the partial collapse of the building’s south eastern corner, increasing concerns about its continued stability.

In 2018 the World Heritage Office approached Highways England with the aim of getting the Smithy included as one of the projects to be funded by the Highways England A30 Environmental Designated Funds. Since then the World Heritage Team has worked with Highways England, Arup contractors, Members of the Chasewater Parish Council and Tregothnan Estate to get the project approved for funding. We are delighted to announce that this project has now been approved for £1 million in funding. The Smithy is likely to be developed for community usage.

The Smithy workshop at Wheal Busy near the former mining village of Chacewater is unique within the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site and is thought to be the largest historic blacksmiths on a metalliferous mine in Britain.

Wheal Busy is a very important name in the annals of Cornish mining. The production of copper and tin in the area around Chacewater dates from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries, with the mine first being mentioned in 1666. Wheal Busy also saw the successive installation of early innovations in steam technology; a Newcomen atmospheric engine was at work dewatering the mine by around 1726, with this role assumed by a Smeaton improved atmospheric engine by 1775-1776. Eventually a Boulton & Watt separate condenser engine was installed, this being the first of its type to operate in Cornwall when it was put to work by its designer James Watt in 1777.

As an acknowledged feature of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, or international significance, within the World Heritage Site, the preservation of the Smithy is of the highest priority to the World Heritage Site team. Designated a Grade II Listed building, the Smithy has an extensive scantle-slate roof and impressive cast iron lintels over its two main entrances. The building owes much of its grand form to a major reworking of the mine in the 1870s and the lintels boldly proclaim the title: ‘Great Wheal Busy Mines 1872’.

Julian German, Chair of the World Heritage Site Partnership, commented that “the Partnership very much welcome the support that Highways England have pledged through the A30 Environmental Designated Funds scheme. The Wheal Busy Smithy poses a significant conservation challenge but this announcement will enable the emergency stabilisation of the building, which is a well-known and highly regarded feature of international importance within the World Heritage Site.”

The World Heritage Site team are delighted that funding has been approved for the Smithy and look forward to working closely with Highways England, the Tregothnan Estate and the community of Chacewater to deliver the much-needed conservation of this unique aspect of Cornwall’s mining heritage.

Wider Value of UNESCO to the UK – call to all UNESCO UK World Heritage Sites

consultation, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK
At the request of the UK National Commission for UNESCO:

All the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites are invited to take part in the UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) 2019 Wider Value survey.

By completing the survey, you will demonstrate the impact of your UNESCO designation at the local, national and international level and as part of a global network. The results will also highlight the importance of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the other 157 sites and projects in the UK, its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

The 2014-15 Wider Value study found that UNESCO helped UK affiliated institutions and bodies to attract at least £100 million in additional income in one year. However, this wider value is not only financial value; the 2014-2015 study also found that being a UNESCO designation is a recognised and prestigious mark of world-class quality.

The 2019 survey includes questions on both the financial and wider-non financial value obtained from UNESCO association, and for the first time also maps your UNESCO designation’s contribution to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The deadline for response is 25th February 2019. The survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact our Wider Value Consultant, Nikolaos Goumagias, ngoumagias@unesco.org.uk.

UNESCO’s aim to enhance peace, security, and sustainable development by fostering international collaboration through its work in education, science, culture, communication and information is more relevant than ever, and your designation is an essential part of a national story that needs telling.

Fill out the survey here https://northumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/unesco-wider-value-plus-to-the-united-kingdom-2019-survey-4 

Matthew Rabagliati
Communications and Research Manager
 
UK National Commission for UNESCO
Suite 98, 3 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EL
+44(0) 207 766 3492

Happy New Year from World Heritage UK! – why not start it with Learning and Engagement at Big Pit, Blaenavon UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Blaenavon, Education, News, Technical Workshop, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Big Pit 2 19 Aug 03_002

Why not start your 2019 off with something to look forward to? Book now for World Heritage UK’s ‘World Heritage Site Learning and Engagement – from cradle to grave’ Technical Workshop on the 19th and 20th February, to be held at Big Pit, Blaenavon. Tickets are available at  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/world-heritage-site-learning-and-engagement-from-cradle-to-grave-tickets-53536344648 where you will also find links to the full event programme.

PLUS! – On the morning of the 19th January (10am – 12pm) at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre there will be the first World Heritage Learning and Engagement Network meeting. This is free and open to all colleagues, staff and volunteers who are involved with learning and engagement in World Heritage Sites. It will be an opportunity to share best practice, share ideas, develop new ideas and create cross-site opportunities for World Heritage. Contact ashleigh.taylor@torfaen.gov.uk for more information on this.

Also watch this space for details of the summer networking meeting and the Autumn annual conference, this year to be held near the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site at Llangollen, in North Wales.

We hope to see you at some of our events – have a great year!

chris.mahon@worldheritageuk.org

 

‘Setting the Scene for World Heritage’ conference review

Conference, Conference Tower of London, DCMS Minister, Events, News, Planning, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

WHUK 2018 lowres-6656

The World Heritage UK annual conference for 2018 is now a happy memory with much learned, experiences and knowledge shared, networks renewed and new friendships forged over two days in October. The historic Tower of London, in the shadows of its neighbouring 21st century high rise glass skyscrapers, was the perfect place to discuss the ‘setting’ of the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and our thanks go to Historic Royal Palaces for hosting the event and providing some memorable behind-the-scenes tours.

The conference attracted over a hundred participants, including Michael Ellis, the Under Secretary of State and his team from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), colleagues from Historic England and the heritage agencies of the devolved nations (who also provided country overview presentations), university academics, heritage consultancy professionals, representatives of most of the UK’s 31 World Heritage Sites, delegates from Bermuda, Germany, Malta and a delegation from the China Academy of Urban Planning Design.

The Minister’s words were very supportive of the work of World Heritage UK and he re-stated the Government’s commitment to heritage protection. This backing will be important when the UK World Heritage Site Review, being carried out by World Heritage UK President, Chris Blandford, is published in 2019, and a summary of progress on this review work formed part of the busy conference programme.

Delegates also heard fascinating insights into case studies where the settings of World Heritage Sites were being challenged, in particular by tall buildings at the Tower of London, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and in Liverpool, by road development at Stonehenge, nationally significant infrastructure projects and changes in agricultural policy in the English Lake District and a variety of issues in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, including wind turbines, industrial and housing developments.

There were interactive sessions too, with a Question Time style panel and the popular 5- minute ‘elevator pitches’ which provided short but insightful contributions that were received well by an enthused audience.

As usual the conference’s additional activities were epic, including a wide range of short behind-the-scenes tours both at the Tower of London and at the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Sites, a speedy clipper trip on the River Thames and a jolly conference dinner at the Old Brewery in Greenwich.

Feedback from delegates has been 100% positive on the overall experience of the conference via the 39% of feedback forms received. Speaker’s presentations and other arisings from the event will be uploaded to the World Heritage UK website in due course.

We are already planning and looking forward to next year’s conference which will be hosted in Llangollen by the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site in North Wales. In the meantime, the next event will be a technical workshop on ‘Education in World Heritage Sites’ which will take place at Big Pit, Blaenavon on 19th and 20th February 2019

Do sign up to this blog to receive further updates on World Heritage UK activity www.worldheritageuk.org/blog

Photo credits: Sam Rose

UK withdrawal from UNESCO – World Heritage UK press statement

Announcement, News, press release, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Following newspaper reports concerning the UK’s continued membership of UNESCO, World Heritage UK are pleased to note the following reported clarification statement from the Department for International Development: “There has been no change to our funding commitment to Unesco. The UK is working closely with Unesco and other member states to ensure it makes crucial reforms to deliver the best results and value for taxpayers’ money.” (13 November 2018).   World Heritage UK understands that scrutiny of bodies such as UNESCO is a legitimate political duty, but we also have the utmost confidence that the economic, environmental and social benefit delivered by the UK’s 31 World Heritage Sites can be proven to withstand any such scrutiny. The UK is a world leader in terms of heritage management and the benefit that we gain from, and contribute to, delivery of the UNESCO Convention is substantial. The whole ethos of the Convention is one of global co-operation which is essential to tackle challenges to our unique cultural and natural heritage. Plastic in our oceans and international tourism pressures are examples of issues that nations cannot practically resolve alone.

DCMS Ministerial announcement on the Welsh Slate Industry today!

Advocacy, Announcement, Culture, DCMS Minister, Heritage, UNESCO, Wales, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

DCMS Heritage Minister Michael Ellis announced today that the Welsh Slate Mining Landscape bid can progress to nomination. Whilst there is still work to do, this is a huge hurdle cleared for the project. Pictured below at the House of Commons announcement are MP Liz Saville Roberts, Lord Dafydd Wigley, Minister Michael Ellis and Cllr Ioan Thomas.

Slate Industry Minister announcement

You can find more information on this UNESCO tentative list site at:   http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5678/

World Heritage UK conference sponsors support Tower of London event

Conference, Conference Tower of London, Conservation, Culture, Events, London, News, Planning, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Thanks to the generous support of these sponsors, World Heritage UK is able to keep the costs of delegate’s attendance affordable at its latest conference ‘Setting the Scene for World Heritage’, at the Tower of London, 15th and 16th October 2018. This is the 4th annual conference of the charity organisation and it promises to be the most compelling yet, not just for the prestigious venue in the city of London but also for the controversial nature of its subject matter. Development in and around World Heritage Sites is often in the news and here will be discussed such topical places as Stonehenge and its road issues, plans affecting the sites in Liverpool and London with tall buildings and other factors, plus many more examples from around the UK and its Overseas Territories.  The event is already attracting international interest so best secure your tickets soon to avoid disappointment. You can register for the conference here

Please help World Heritage UK with its HLF Resilient Heritage application

communications, consultation, Fundraising, Heritage, News, Opportunities, training, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites, World Heritage UK

Valentina Sabucco 2Hi, my name is Valentina Sabucco, a post-graduate student from Newcastle University on a placement at the Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site.

World Heritage UK is currently preparing a bid to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund Resilient Heritage grant and I am helping to organise a survey for your input to help guide the application. Will you help me?

World Heritage UK aims to become a more sustainable and resilient organisation, improving our professional skills and offering the chance for everyone who is interested and passionate about heritage to bring his/her contribution to the organisation.

For this purpose, the following questionnaire has been designed to help our organisation identify its strengths and reveal areas for improvement. The survey usually takes only two minutes to be completed.

We would really appreciate everyone’s participation as we do value your feedback and we would like to build on your comments towards the next steps towards a more resilient future.

The link to the short questionnaire is: HERE