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Future UK approach to WHS

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Author winterkjm
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#16 | Posted: 11 Feb 2010 11:25 
I have visited the Forth Rail Bridge, though it is an impressive site I agree it does not quite merit the recognition of a World Heritage Site. I am glad the UK is taking this approach, many other nations in Europe (particularly France, Spain, and Italy) need to trim their T-List and only push for the sites with a very high probability of an early inscription that have little representation on the list so far.

I hope this will be a continuing trend in Europe and in some of the other well-represented regions. I can't help it, but everytime I see the World Heritage map, and Europe is just a blotch of World Heritage Sites, I cringe a bit. Its just so incredibly over-represented. Many of the sites in Europe are indeed world class, but too many countries are trying to push for sites that don't quite make the cut for a world heritage site in my opinion. (Not that countries outside of Europe don't often do the same thing!)

Author Solivagant
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#17 | Posted: 12 Feb 2010 04:09 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Unfortunately the Network Rail response to the Government's Consultation exercise doesn't seem to be on the Web (although many others are - see links in earlier post).
I discovered this quote from Jan 2009 however from a "spokeswoman for Network Rail" - "We will continue the dialogues with English Heritage regarding their proposal. It is necessary that we review this and consider what this could mean to operating a railway fit for the 21st century and beyond. We need to strike a healthy balance." It didn't sound very positive then! It is included in this report about why Heritage campaigers wanted to see the GWR inscribed
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/wdp/news/transport/Campaigners-angry-failed-bid-railwa y-world-status/article-641757-detail/article.html


Given that Manchester is withdrawing because of "institutional opponents" it does appear that sites which are significantly in private ownership do not want "WHS Hassle" (Network Rail isn't strictly a PLC but claims to operate like one - "The Board runs Network Rail to the standards required of a publicly listed company (PLC)")! This would appear to be a growing theme in a number of countries. we have the US example of course where such private objections are valid in law as vetoes - but there have also been the recent objections in Ireland from local farmers about putting Clonmacnoise and Hill of Tara on its T List

The apparent reluctance of the National Trust to put forward a number of its sites is also quite interesting - especially as it is making quite an advertising pitch about them being T List sites on its own Web pages at this very moment!! Perfectly true of course but not really indicative of its apparent true feelings on the matter!
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-daysout/w-daysout-themed/w-daysout-themed -world_heritage.htm

Author Solivagant
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#18 | Posted: 7 Apr 2010 02:16 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The UK Dept of Culture, Heritage and Sport has now produced its "pack" to be used by sites wanting to "apply" to be on UK's renewed T List. It represents quite a good general resumee of the factors to be taken into account if a site is to be successful and could be a useful reference document for anyone wanting to learn more about such matters - from whatever country. It is amazing really that, after all these years, UNESCO itself hasn't produced such a guidance document. But of course the UNESCO "jolly" in Bangkok this month concerning the pre-inscription processes might identify something completely different!
http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6740.aspx

NL has also put in place a very similarly timed process for renewing its own T List and I asked for "guesses" about contenders . Durian has already made some interesting suggestions!
http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=1480


So perhaps we "Brits" (and anyone else ?) should do our bit of guessing (and researching!!) as well!

We already know from the consultation exercise that a number of the earlier T List sites won't be figuring this time round (E.g Great Western Railway, Forth Rail Bridge, New Forest). Indeed I would see that a willingness to pursue the matter might be a far more significant factor as to which sites emerge than whether a site might meet the criteria. A number of potentials almost certainly won't want to bother - indeed, as we have noticed before, the most "active" sites are likely to be those of middle ranking quality which are trying to leverage the "tourism" potential of inscription.

Another very significant factor for any future UK list is likely to be the "internal Nationalisms" - Scotland and Wales certainly will regard having some of their own sites on the revised UK list as being a visible token of their growing autonomy (or even as a stepping stone to Independence!) - so we can certainly expect some examples from them!

Of the current, but as yet un-nominated, T List sites (i.e Jarrow and Darwin are already in progress) Chatham will certainly continue. I am not so sure about The Lake District - but a lot of careers and spent energy are tied up in this site.

Of sites not on the current T List, my guesses to date for putting themselves forward (but whether the Government would support them is another matter) are
Very likely
Arbroath
Chester
Brighton

Possible
York
Birmingham
Glasgow - MacKintosh architecture
Blackpool (interesting battle with Brighton here for the first "Working Class" seaside resort on the List! Brighton is perhaps less WC but does have the Pavilion !)
Portsmouth etc
Something from the Channel Islands
The Isle of Man might come back in with Tynwald - having failed earlier. Both for "pride" and tourism reasons
There are some "Trans-national" possibilites but it isn't clear how such sites could be coordinated for T List purposes -i.e could they be added without all the other potential parties also doing so -e.g a "Tin related" site from Cornwall and a "Slave route"

So what could be "missing"?
It would have been nice to see a more modern Garden City/Model Village than the already inscribed New Lanark and Saltaire to provide continuity on this "Britsh" contribution to world urban planning but I can't see any of them wanting to face all the hassle.
There are some fine "Art Deco" buildings but that space really needs to be left to Miami/Napier/Asmara.
Scotland might want to try with some landscape I guess. One could imagine a mixed site from e.g Assynt with geology and cultural landscape - both current and, via the pre Highland Clearance archaeological remains, "relict"?
I am struggling to identify what Wales might be able to put forward - but no doubt the "Nationalists" will find something!
I sense that Central government doesn't really want to progress any of its potential sites and is only progressing with a T List at all because the heritage organisations polled in the consultation exercise favoured doing so. That probably means that nationally-run significant "scientific history" sites like e.g Bletchley Park and Jodrell Bank won't be progressed.
For similar reasons I can't see anything from S Georgia being put forward - but a mixture of scenery, wildlife and a whaling station would be a wonderful site (OK, so whaling is pretty non-pc but then so is slavery - both were a part of human history)!

Author meltwaterfalls
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#19 | Posted: 7 Apr 2010 12:27 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
I must admit I am sad to see the big infrastructure of the Industrial revolution falling away: Forth Rail Bridge and Great Western, but oh well, maybe the Millau Viaduct will be added in a few decades time to make up for it.

I must admit I am very fond of Brighton and seeing it on the list would be great, I have never been to Blackpool but outwardly I would say that does have a more Working Class status, and that is something that is very overlooked on the list. However Brighton certainly has the attractions and it isn't quite as gentrified as it likes to portray itself.

I think there is something of interest in the Portsmouth proposal, the sea defences have continuously developed over 2000 years (the oldest part Portchester Castle http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server.php?show=nav.14361 is actually an exceptionally well preserved Roman fortification). I think this would have the edge over Chatham. However I must now admit to a massive bias as Portsmouth is my home town and Portchester Castle was on my doorstep growing up.

The one place I love going to are the four remaining Inn's of Court http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inns_of_Court in central London, they really are very beautiful and have a great cultural tradition, even if it is somewhat elitist, but I very much doubt this would ever really work up into a proposal. The first time I visited I was struck by how impressive they really are, and I think somehow tying in this tradition of Law making and it export around the world could really have something going for it. Again I have to highlight my own bias on this as I work in between the four of them so visit on an almost daily basis.

I do love visiting Wales but I am also struggling to think of anything it could really add. St David's has come and gone and the north and south both have representative sites, and the natural sites whilst very nice are not really of international renown. Llandudno would be an interesting place to throw in the mix vis-à-vis Brighton and Blackpool.

I'm sure I have more that I could think of but may have to come back on them.

Author Solivagant
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#20 | Posted: 7 Apr 2010 13:43 
Here is a pitch for York - I live nearby and it seems quite an active initiative !! BUT, as the article says
"It won't be easy. There's a general consensus that York would have walked its way to World Heritage status 20 years ago. But the deciding committee now feels that the list already has plenty of walled European cities with a cathedral"

http://yorkshire.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/should-york-be-listed-as-world-herita ge-site-18695/

It is a great place and far better than many already inscribed sites though I personally wouldn't support it - there are more than enough tourists there already and I will probably lose my "hidden" little free parking spot!!

Author Euloroo
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#21 | Posted: 9 Apr 2010 06:14 
I'd like to see Bloomsbury listed - from Kings Cross / St Pancras through Corum Fields, Bedford Square and UCL to the British Museum and Lincolns Inn. Not just for the incredible examples of Georgian/Victorian architecture but for role it played in the development of the nation (and to an extent the empire) in terms of legal system, archaeological preservation, social policy, urban form, education and transport. Maybe stick Euston Square Gardens (with the rebuilt Doric propylaeum) in their as well!

Author Solivagant
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#22 | Posted: 17 Apr 2010 11:48 

Author winterkjm
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#23 | Posted: 10 Jun 2010 02:19 | Edited by: winterkjm 
A more recent article on Colchester. Sounds like it is a realy possibilty for the new UK list.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/news/colchester-to-make-unescos -elite-world-heritage-list-1990348.html

Something I have wondered about, will we know all of the applicants for the new UK T list on June 11th when they all have been submitted. Or will this information be revealed at a later date?

Author Solivagant
Registered
#24 | Posted: 10 Jun 2010 05:10 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I wouldn't expect the list of those seeking inclusion on the T List to be published until the end of the evaluation process
"The UK Government will be convening a panel of experts to consider applications for inclusion on a new Tentative List of sites for potential nomination to UNESCO for World Heritage status and to make recommendations to Ministers by the end of 2010" ( http://www.culture.gov.uk/consultations/6740.aspx ). According to the UK "Freedom of Information Act" we ought, at some time, to be able to find out all of the sites seeking inclusion (even if they fail), but there are a number of legal letouts so I wouldn't guarantee it!! Note the "mays" in this statement :-
"Please note responses may be published, unless you ask us not to do so. In addition under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 all information in responses, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure. If any correspondent requests confidentiality this cannot be guaranteed, and will only be possible if considered appropriate under the legislation"

To try to establish what has been happening to date I have noted the following links indicating recent (ie 2010) activity for the following "hopefuls"!!

The Broads http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/edp24/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tB rand=EDPOnline&tCategory=xDefault&itemid=NOED14%20May%202010%2016%3A05%3A01%3A680

Isle of Man
http://www.isleofman.com/News/article.aspx?article=26537&area=2

The Flow Country (already on the T List). I was in this area a few weeks ago and, at the main museum/exhibition centre, asked the curator what was happening –but she didn't know! However, a few days later this appeared -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/10183248.stm

Guernsey http://www.thisisguernsey.com/2010/04/27/deputy-wants-town-to-go-for-world-heritage-s ite-status/

The Forth Bridge (already on T List and the UK government review identified that the Rail Network Company didn't want to pursue it so it isn't clear how the local councils can!)
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Pyramids-and-Taj-Mahal-to.6281612.jp

Swansea (though seems to be a longer term aspiration rather than for this T List update)
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/05/11/swansea-seeks-developers-for- historic-copperworks-site-91466-26419083/

Chester
http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2010/03/04/roman-cit y-of-chester-to-bid-for-world-heritage-status-92534-25959263/

Brighton
http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/6242819.Brighton_and_Hove_set_to_become_world_heritage _site/

Colchester (as in above posts- included here for "completeness"))
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/news/colchester-to-make-unescos -elite-world-heritage-list-1990348.html

Arbroath
http://www.arbroathherald.co.uk/news/SWEET-IDEA-FOR-ARBROATH-ABBEY.6211807.jp

Portsmouth etc http://www.rad.clara.net/heritage/latest.html

York http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/8213391.York_goes_for_World_Heritage_Status/

However (unless my Googling skills have deserted me!!) I can find nothing recent for a number of sites which had, previously been "in the frame"

Chatham- so close to nomination that I presume it is continuing

The Lake District – Again this seems unlikely to drop out at this late stage but the recent comments in Eire about the Lake District and their decision not to try to progress the "similar" Killarney because it had had so many problems justifying its OUV are interesting here

Glasgow - Mackintosh Buildings

Blackpool No hint of anything progressing here?.

The Slave Route project –which back in 2007 was said to be going to include at least a site in London Docklands as part of a "trans-national serial nomination in conjunction with partners in West Africa and Barbados in the Caribbean."

Chelsea Physic Garden. This is included in the Swedish site for Systematic Biology (site 5).
http://www.c.lst.se/templates/versamhetstart.aspx?id=7586
But I have had no response to my e-mail to the Garden as to whether they are producing a proposal for the UK T List in time for June 11. Although any trans-boundary nomination led by Sweden wouldn't "use up" a UK "nomination slot" it is apparently necessary for all countries to register their individual sites on their respective T Lists – as stated on the Swedish site's T list page on the UNESCO Web site. They had better hurry up as Sweden is working towards presenting its nomination in Feb 2011!!

No doubt there will be a few extra "surprise candidates" but, considering that the whole process was supposed to be open and democratic, there appears to have been remarkably little published data on discussions and intentions. It is perhaps an "unfortunate" time for to set up a new UK T List. Central and Local Government is facing having to make large budget cuts. Suggesting the expenditure of up to £400k to gain inscription isn't likely to go down well at the moment and management effort is likely to be concentrated elsewhere!

Author Solivagant
Registered
#25 | Posted: 11 Jun 2010 03:55 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Well here is the first "surprise candidate " (see previous post)

Gwynedd slate industry
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west_wales/10289479.stm

A very interesting suggestion. We had been wondering earlier what Wales could come up with - well I think this is pretty good. An industry of historical (and worldwide) significance with amazing remains both physical and cultural/social, creating a fine "Cultural Landscape" - but not yet represented anywhere else on the list (nor, as far as I know on any T List)

Also

St Andrews - Medieval Burgh and Links (Home of Golf)
http://news.stv.tv/scotland/182251-two-fife-sites-bid-for-world-heritage-status/
Another unusual proposal which possibly stands more chance than yet more Roman towns/archaeological remains in York, Chester and Colchester??

Author winterkjm
Registered
#26 | Posted: 12 Jun 2010 14:07 
A couple current different articles on York, St. Andrews, and the Forth Rail Bridge following the June 11th deadline.

York
http://www.citylocal.co.uk/York/news-in-York/World-Heritage-bid-58147/

St. Andrews & the Forth Rail Bridge
http://www.fifetoday.co.uk/st-andrews-news/St-Andrews-bids-to-be.6354387.jp

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2010/06/10/newsstory15199515t0.asp

Author Solivagant
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#27 | Posted: 17 Jun 2010 05:04 
It isn't absolutely clear but this link would seem to indicate that an official application must have been made as part of the process which closed on Jun 11!!! No Chance!
Merthyr Tydfil
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/06/17/town-s-historic-past-could-gi ve-it-a-bright-future-91466-26670117/

Author Solivagant
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#28 | Posted: 18 Jun 2010 09:27 

Author elsslots
Admin
#29 | Posted: 8 Jul 2010 10:26 
Apparently, 38 (!) possible sites have been submitted. Have not found the full list yet

Author winterkjm
Registered
#30 | Posted: 8 Jul 2010 10:42 
This article, pretty much identical to what was just linked lists all 38 sites on the bottom.

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/38-british-sites-compete-for-worl d-heritage-status-2020609.html

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