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Future UK approach to WHS

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Author Solivagant
#106 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 02:40 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The inscription of the Lake District completes a "run" of 3 successful years for UK after a long fallow period (The previous success was in 2009 - Pontcysyllte)
2015 - Forth Bridge
2016 - Gorham's Cave
2017 - The Lake District

As far as I am aware the only "active" nomination still around is that of Bath as part of the Great Spas of Europe. The last news on this that I can find is that there was a submission target of Jan 2018 (i.e for 2019). But this was dated May 2016 and one might have expected to have "heard" more by now if that date was to be hit (only 6 months away!!)

The UK T List (last updated in 2012 - apart from the insertion of Bath in 2014) stands at 11 of which 2 (Monkwearmouth/Jarrow and Darwins laboratory) must be considered effectively "dead" given earlier failures (indeed it isn't really clear why they have been left on the T List). Taking out Bath as well, the remaining 8 are located as follows - England - 3, Scotland - 2, Wales - 1, Overseas Territories - 2 .

The last announcement of intention to progress nominations was made in May 2013 - 4 years ago!! Bath has never even been granted the courtesy of an "official" comment having apparently "done its own thing" in joining with the other European countries outwith the normal UK T LIst Selection process and somehow managing to get the UK Dept of Culture to accept this (though with how much active support is another matter!!)

The only previous "active" T List site was Chatham which was very disappointed not to have been given the go ahead way back in 2014 when the Lake District was chosen - -heritage-site-status-is-blocked-9049750.html . The inscription of Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua in 2016 can't have improved its chances!

So - the UK would seem to have come to a hiatus as regards future Nominations. Bath depends on progress to be made by other countires. The UK government doesn't seem very active in identifying the next choice from the existing T List - if it were to do so tomorrow one couldn't really expect any nomination to be put forward before Jan 2020 - which would mean consideration at the 2021 WHC.

And which T List site might it be if the UK government decides to act? The last successes have gone - Wales/Scotland/Overseas/England but England has also had 2 "failures" and could be said to be "running" with Bath so it probably wouldn't be another English site. I personally would favour Mousa and Jarlshof on the Shetlands -
That would require the Scottish government to lobby for it to the UK government. I can think of no obvious reason why it wouldn't but I wouldn't be surprised if nothing is done and UK goes "quiet" on active nominations for a few years at least.

Author meltwaterfalls
#107 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 04:33 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Back in 2015 Joderell Bank was looking for funding for a new museum/ visitors centre, it received that funding (though I don't know of the progress since, but all seems to be going as planned). A core aspect of the proposal was getting the site ready for potential WH inscription, and on this front they had strong words of support from DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) which is the department that deals with UK nominations.

So I would imagine it is starting to position itself for nomination, roughly alongside the opening of the new interpretation centre. That project is still in the first half so positioning it for a 2022 or 2023 proposal would perhaps fit this schedule.

One thing to note from the Westminster Village, is that DCMS is one of the central government departments that has lost a larger percentage of employees to the newly created DExEU (Department for Exiting the European Union), and additionally quite a chunk of all central government time is now focused on EU exit negotiations. As such many other non-urgent activities are on a longer time frame. So the UK going quiet for another period seems very likely.

Author Solivagant
#108 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 05:14 | Edited by: Solivagant 
So I would imagine it is starting to position itself for nomination, roughly alongside the opening of the new interpretation centre.

I noted this appointment of a "Heritage officer" whose objectives appear to include UNESCO nomination preparation or at least "positioning" - It is certainly "active"!

Author meltwaterfalls
#109 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 06:02 
From looking at the UK List I think Mousa and Jarlshof and Joderell Bank are the only ones I would be keen on seeing move forward.

Solivagant have you ever been to Cresswell Craggs? I must admit I had never heard of it before it was added to the T-List.

Author Solivagant
#110 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 06:36 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Solivagant have you ever been to Cresswell Craggs?

Coincidentally we are off to Buxton this week end and, on the way, I have to choose between seeing the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (for the 2nd time) or Cresswell Crags for the first!! YSP was winning but I have worked out how to park for free (there is my usual congenital incapability of paying for parking!) near Cresswell if we have time! Apparently one can visit the site for free (other than an official car park at £3) but the museum and "tours" cost the usual arm and a leg of UK entrance fees. It isn't clear how much of the caves one can actually SEE on ones own. There are painting/scratchings inside but other finds have been removed - but there can't be less to see than at the German Ice Age caves surely !!!!

I have also discovered this
"A proposal was made in 1986 by the Prehistoric Society for Creswell Crags to be included on a list of potential UK World Heritage Sites. The then Department of the Environment accepted the scientific significance of the site but rejected inclusion on the UK list because of the presence of inappropriate infrastructure in the gorge, namely the sewage works and the road."
The road has been moved - I am not sure about the sewage works. Clearly, enough was done to enable the site to get onto the latest UK T List.
But there would seem now to be an excess of prehistoric caves on the List........?

Author nfmungard
#111 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 06:58 
Didnt we already put plenty of sites in the "should be brought forward, but state party apparently not interested". Of the top of my head I recall Historic Football Pitch, Historic Golf Course, Historic Pubs, Historic Whiskey Distilleries, York Oldtown plus Cathedral, Blackpool for the amusement park, Scottish Highlands, Eilean Donan Castle (Touristy, I know), Victorian London, London Docks, ... On top there must be some modern architecture in the UK worthwhile inscribing and influential.

Author meltwaterfalls
#112 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 07:33 
I have to choose between seeing the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (for the 2nd time) or Cresswell Crags for the first!!

I know the YSP would win out on that one for me, especially with the Hepworth being nearby for a free modern sculpture double bill (Triple Bill with the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds I guess).

Author meltwaterfalls
#113 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 08:58 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
On top there must be some modern architecture in the UK worthwhile inscribing and influential.

Hmm interesting. I'm struggling to come up with anything that I think would really justify a place on the list. The UK generally had a high level of scepticism on Modernist Architecture, partially justified by some poor quality versions of it.

However since the turn of the millennium there have been a lot more impressive structures built/ reused across the country that in the course of time may have some backing.
There are three UK architects that probably have a cannon of work that could be regarded as "world class":

Norman Foster Notable works regeneration of the Reichstag and British Museum, Stansted Airport, Millau Viaduct & The Gherkin

Richard Rodgers Notable: Lloyd's of London, Pompidou Centre and Senedd in Cardiff

Zaha Hadid Notable: 2012 Aquatic Centre, Heydar Aliyev Center (Baku) and Riverside Museum Glasgow.

Perhaps we could eventually see their oeuvre added to this list, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Of those buildings old enough to being in current thinking on inscription (ignoring the "heritage village" of Khor Dubai which was built about twenty years ago)

My own personal favourite is the Royal Festival Hall, on the Southbank in London. I doubt it would contemplate any sort of attempt at listing, I don't think it would fair well in comparison to say the Sydney Opera House, but it was built for a festival , so perhaps it could take the World's Fair angle, it certainly seems more interesting than the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.

Two other larger structures that may be of note are the De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill on Sea. Interesting, beautiful but I doubt with OUV.

Coventry Cathedral, I always seem to hear of it being spoken about in disparaging terms, however to my eye it looks rather magnificent, but I have never visited so can't say.

On the whole there are quite a few modern buildings of note in the UK but i doubt many could really argue for OUV, or be admired beyond their local areas.

Author nfmungard
#114 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 09:20 
Norman Foster Notable works regeneration of the Reichstag and British Museum, Stansted Airport, Millau Viaduct & The Gherkin

Pretty sure he will make the list after his lifetime.

Author Solivagant
#115 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 16:39 | Edited by: Solivagant 
A critical view of Lake District's nomination: "Britain's greatest national park is a sheepwrecked monument to subsidised overgrazing and ecological destruction" te-george-monbiot

Monbiot is sounding off again after his recommendation regarding the Lake District nomination wasn't "accepted"!- te-sheep

But read the "Comments" as well to pick up some of the contrary arguments - even in the Guardian!

Author clyde
#116 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 17:20 
I agree nfmungard. Khan Shatyr and Pyramid of Peace are two of Norman Foster's impressive creations I've seen recently in Astana, Kazakhstan. I'm usually not a modern architecture fan but Astana was a pleasant surprise.

Author Colvin
#117 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 20:08 | Edited by: Colvin 
Regarding UK architects, there is still Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his Art Noveau architecture in Glasgow. This has been brought up before as a possible addition to the UK Tentative list, and I think it is a valid candidate for reevaluation.

Author winterkjm
#118 | Posted: 11 Jul 2017 21:19 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Brief exploration of potential nominations in British Overseas Territories

British Virgin Islands

St. Phillip's Anglican Church (African Church) could be included as a serial component of the Slave Route nomination.

Pitcairn Islands

Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve [Extension to Henderson Island WHS]
- one of the largest marine reserves in the world (National Geographic video)

Falkland Islands

Potential for natural site, but politics would be divisive.

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