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Future UK approach to WHS

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Author Solivagant
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#46 | Posted: 14 Jan 2011 15:35 
Herewith the "debate" verbatim.
I put the word "debate" in inverted commas since the whole affair was pretty anodyne and, in my view doesn't reflect well on the contemporary parliamentary processes in UK. A "debate" implies that alternative views will be proposed and that some sort of conclusion or at least progress in understanding will be achieved. This was just a few northern MPs flying kites and wanting to gain a few brownie points from their constituents whilst lobbing simple points to a minister who wants to appear supportive but doesn't want to say anything concrete!!!

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2011-01-11a.45.0

Note that the minister wouldn't indicate how many sites might finish up on the new UK T List!!!

Author winterkjm
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#47 | Posted: 25 Jan 2011 14:51 
Does anyone know when the new UK T List will be published? I keep hearing Spring 2011? I am curious to which sites make it and the ones that don't.

I think of the 38 sites that made their bid York at least has to make it, I just hope they drop the Darwin nomination among others.

Author Solivagant
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#48 | Posted: 22 Mar 2011 00:26 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The new UK T List has just been published -
http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/7968.aspx

A confusion arises as lot of press comment refers to 11 sites being included . This is because Wearmouth/Jarrow and Darwins Landscape Laboratory have been "carried forward" and are not counted in the 11!!
Since the former is already in UNESCO's hands for consideration in 2012 we are really talking about 12 sites about which there was some option to be "decided upon" - as follows

Forth Bridge
Lake District
St Helena (mixed site - fortifications and biodiversity)
Chatham
Darwin's Laboratory
N Wales Slate Industry
Jodrell Bank (Radio Telescope)
Flow Country (Scotland)
Gorham's Cave (Gibraltar - Neanderthal remains)
Cresswell Crags (Ice Age caves/art)
Sheltand Iron Age sites
Turks + Caicos (mixed site -Cays/Salt industry etc)

a. 5 from England, 3 from Scotland, 1 from Wales and 3 from the "Empire"(!!!)
b. Not a single mediaeval town/cathedral -though there is yet another "Island Colonial Fortress" at St Helena)
c. Darwin trying for the 3rd time - amazing
d. Lake District also trying for the 3rd time (previously 87 + 90)
e. St Helena trying for 2nd time (previously 87 - just Diana's Peak)
f. Creswell Crags a bit surprising. As far as I am aware it is a privately owned "pay to enter" site currently run/managed by a public trust on the basis of their 21 year lease from the owners! could be problematical? See http://www.creswell-crags.org.uk/
g. The "Empire" seemingly over-represented??
h. 4 carried forward from current T List remnants - Lake District, Darwin, Flow Country and Forth Road Bridge
i. A lot of sites with high hopes dashed - Arbroath Abbey, Macintosh Glasgow, Chester, Blackpool, York, Manchester/NE early railways. Some a bit "marginal" but no really obvious winners amongst them?
j. I don't know what happens about Navan as part of the Royal Sites of Ireland -as I understand it the responsible State Party has to incude sites in its own T LIst for them to get included even if they are part of another country's prime nomination ?


I think the addition of Welsh Slate and Shetland Iron Age are good. Similarly Gorham's cave - much better than the previous "Gibraltar Defenses". Those Neanderthals are under-represented!!! Jodrell Bank is possibly worth trying as a "later 20C technology/science" site - another thin area on the current list. But too much re-trying with previous failures. The Forth Road bridge is seemingly problematical with its owner not apparently very happy with trying to run a railway service over a UNESCO protected monument!

Anyway - it should keep us going for the next 20 years with allowance for not nominating every year and a few more deferrals/referrals etc!
Here is the list of "great and good" who made up the panel
http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/7608.aspx
Can't really fault their CVs - I see our old "friend" Fowler, he of the "Cultural Landscape" concept, was on. The panel was all very "inclusive" with a representative for Scotland and another from the "Empire" - nice to see the inclusion of a German to prevent too much "localism"

Author winterkjm
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#49 | Posted: 22 Mar 2011 05:02 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Whatever happened to the idea of a small t list? I was expecting about 6 sites. This list is very underwelming. What was the issue with York? There can't be more than 2-3 sites in this list that have a chance in the next 10 years.

Author Euloroo
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#50 | Posted: 22 Mar 2011 08:23 
I maintain my earlier point that the "Birth of the Railway Age" surely has OUV as something that had fundamentally changed the behaviour and development of pretty much all humankind. I guess the decision to omit this from the list is an allegory of UK being the only country in the world with its head in the sand about developing the next generation of rail travel!

Apart from that, I think the list is sound (with the obvious exception of Darwin). Most of those missed out aren't hugely special and are of little universal interest internationally.

Agree about Navan though, Soli. Strikes me as a serious slight on the Republic. Especially as I see its less than a year since they made their t-list submission. Given the historical significance of the listing though, perhaps not something they'll want to raise with HMTQ when she visits!

Author Solivagant
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#51 | Posted: 22 Mar 2011 11:02 | Edited by: Solivagant 
[
Euloroo:
UK being the only country in the world with its head in the sand about developing the next generation of rail travel!


Bit of an exaggeration I think to say that UK is the "only" country on this matter - the London- Birmingham route would seem to be more advanced than the Melbourne -Sydney-Brisbane VFT? But leaving that aside I would agree that the "Birth of the Railway Age" is the most surprising exclusion - and Creswell Crags the most surprising inclusion - apart from Darwin of course!!

Regarding the Navan issue. It wasn't one of the 38 sites available to the panel for inclusion so what else could it do? The "Fault" lies more in the nominations for the T List. After all the Tynwald proposal would have supported another Transnational nomination (Norse Assembly sites) and Navan should have been put forward from the start on the same basis. I wonder if the Armagh council etc don't particularly want to support it?

York tried hard by playing the uniqueness of its "Anoxic environment" but could never escape the fact that it was far too late with its Mediaeval city/Cathedral

I am not as negative about the list as Winterkjm.
a. Jarlshof/Mousa are superb and deserve inclusion
b. The Lake District is a far better cultural landscape than many of those which have got in from Europe recently - including all those wine producing ones!! In the light of many cultural landscapes which have been inscribed since it tried to blaze the trail I think it was badly treated all those years ago when it was first nominated
c. The Welsh Slate Industry is a creative nomination which has more mileage in it than might seem at first sight
d. The Forth Bridge is more than the equal of the existing Vizcaya inscription
e. I would put Chatham as superior to Karlskrona
f. Gorham's cave taps a worthwhile new theme
g. Jodrell Bank also moves into a new area and is as good as other technology/scientific sites on other T Lists
h. The Flow Country has its importance and uniqueness - it is perhaps too easy only to look at far away countries for "Natural" sites.

Author winterkjm
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#52 | Posted: 22 Mar 2011 13:30 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Perhaps I was a little negative. Speaking honestly though how much of these sites actually have a "real" chance of inscription on the first attempt. How many are of Outstanding Universal Value? There are 13 sites on the new UK T list, the previous list was 15 nominations I believe. Solvigant only pointed out 8 sites that deserve insription or deserve consideration. I am somewhat dissapointed because I expected the UK to trim down the list to the sites that have the best chance of inscription. The fact that numerous sites have attempted to be inscribed before and still managed to make it on the new tentative list is disapointing. Nevetheless, there are still some sites I am excited about.


*There 3 sites in my opinion are outstanding

- Jalshof/Mousa Shetland sites (One nomination I am very excited about. While in Scotland I had planned to visit Shetland Island, but unfortunately never made it. I'll have to visit this site next time. I agree it should, and likely will be inscribed)

- Chatham (Many have mentioned this site as deserving inscription. I'll take their word for it.)

- Gorham's cave (This certainly does have a wow factor, looks very interesting)

*These 3 sites in my opinion are borderline (may deserve inscription)

- The Flow Country (As someone who has spent relatively little time in the UK, one is amazed by the various beautiful landscapes in Scotland. I have little doubt many outside of the UK would consider the Flow Country outstanding. Worthy of nomination at least.)

- The Lake District (This nomination may have had a bad shake in the past, but now it seems there have been too much European cultural landscapes that have been inscribed, which does not bode well for inscription)

- The Welsh Slate Industry (I have never been a big fan of mining, industrial nominations. However, I recognize the fact that some exhibit signifigant qualities of being of outstanding universal value.)


These six sites in my opinion should have been nominated. I've been to the Forth Bridge, and rather enjoyed my visit, but I didn't quite feel it deserved inscription. Moreover, it already had a chance. I believe York deserved a chance, but at the same time too much of the same has already been inscribed. I loved exploring York, but I can understand why the nomination has been overlooked. So my dissapointment in the list was not so much in the quality of sites, they are all offcourse important sites and worth visiting. I felt 4 sites on the new tentative list that have already failed to get inscribed in the past was too much. Also 13 total sites (including the 2012 nomination and Darwin) is too much. The quality of the new T list was somewhat weakened by a few nominations that have little chance of inscription.

Author winterkjm
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#53 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 04:16 | Edited by: winterkjm 
The new tentative list decision report has been published on the UK world heritage website. Very interesting insight into the nominations. It seems the Birth of the railways nominatiion was deemed of OUV, but failed because of a uncoherent nomination. It is reccomended that the nomination be evaluated again at a later date for potential addition to the tentative list. York is another interesting nomination that was deemed of OUV. The critique of the nomination was that it focused too much on the subsurface aspects while mentioning the above surface heritage. It was reccomended York pursue nomination in the future including both above and below surface aspects.

Also there is some consideration of a transnational nomination including Naven. Suprisingly 4 sites fron the new list are nominated under 1 criteria alone. In discussions for future nominations priority will be given to nominations that fall under 20th century architecture, cold war sites, and industrial heritage with more research being done concerning sport related sites.

Author Solivagant
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#54 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 07:20 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Herewith the link to the report referred to above by winterkjm in which the Panel explains its decisions - it didn't seem that easy to find on their Web site
www.culture.gov.uk/publications/7964.aspx

Generally quite a good piece of work I felt with a lot of very "useful" general comments for persons interested in WHS!! And generally I think UK can be proud of the open and consultative way it has carried out the exercise whilst remaining scholarly and objective (even though the Panel recommends a more thematic approach next time). Whether UNESCO can match such elements in its own processes is another matter! I noticed on several occasions thinking that UNESCO hasn't been as objective in its own assessments as was the panel - e.g its concern about the relative unimportance of Renie Mackintosh compared with the inscription of Casa Barragan.

Author Euloroo
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#55 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 08:39 
@Solivagent Fair point about high speed rail ;o) Australian public transport is appalling (although I understand from the folks in the UK that Richard Wilson didn't paint a pretty picture there this week either!)

I didn't get the comment on Navan. It appeared on the DCMS press release list of 38 last year:
http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/media_releases/7220.aspx
Am I missing something?

Author Solivagant
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#56 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 09:04 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Yes Euloroo - my mistake, sorry. It was of course in the list and available to the panel to include in their list. However their proposed approach to transnational nominations set out in their detailed report seems sensible - if the main country wishes to proceed and regards a UK site as being significant within their overall OUV pitch then the UK government should add it.

Author winterkjm
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#57 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 12:29 
I read/skimmed through the 100pg report. Like Solvigant said, alot of interesting information. I was also impressed by the openess and objective approach. There was a small section that dealt with potential transnational sites to be considered in the future. It was explicitly stated none of the UK sites that might be included in a transnational site are considered of OUV by themselves. One small theme in the report, in which DCMS was adament, concerned nominations that are already very well represented. Example: Castles and Churches. I was suprised, but pleased that some sites were excplicitly judged to not meet the requirement of OUV. (Lincoln comes to mind) Though I have my squabbles (New list is too long!), overall the new list has included some worthwhile sites.

Author Assif
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#58 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 13:42 
Im aware it is too late but I still lament the fact that neither Oxford nor Cambridge are on the list. I think both merit a (shared) inscription and are of OUV.

Author Assif
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#59 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 14:19 
I've just found this link about Portsmouth. http://www.rad.clara.net/heritage/
Anyone knows why they didn't try it this time?

Author meltwaterfalls
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#60 | Posted: 23 Mar 2011 15:54 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Assif:
I've just found this link about Portsmouth. http://www.rad.clara.net/heritage/
Anyone knows why they didn't try it this time?


Portsmouth was preparing a bid and seems to have missed the deadline for submission (July 27 2010), a bit of a surprise as I spoke to the team behind it a year or so previous and they seemed to be well on track with a pretty decent looking draft document. Will see if I can follow it up to get some more info.

There is a decent page with all kinds of documents relating to the nomination, which may be of interest if you wanted to see what happens at an early grass roots level.

In my own view the Portsmouth bid was a pretty good concept as it stretched outside the main dockyard and encompassed a seascape as well, it also illustrated the ongoing use of the harbour as a military base over 1,800 years by including the exceptionally well preserved roman castle at Portchester.

Personally I think it would make a better site than Chatham, but will now point out my large bias as I am from Portsmouth.

Will have a look through the rest of the new nominations, first impressions are mixed. I was hoping to see a site reflection working class recreation so was disappointed to see Blackpool over looked but encouraged by the noises about investigating potential sporting sites for the future. I think this is a way the UK could lead a different path on nominations.

Jodrell Bank stands out for me as being something new and innovative and I would hope that it is given a fairly early stab at inclusion.

Like Solivagant I think the Lake District and Forth Bridge are better than already inscribed sites in their respective categories.

Creswell Crags? I must admit to having never heard of it before today, will reserve judgment for the moment but it does seems a bit of an odd choice. They do however seem to have invested a fair bit of money in it with a rather lovely looking new visitors centre.

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