Has anyone already looked into detail what the core zone of the upcoming Gibraltar caves WHS involves, and how accessible it is?
Yes! Before we had decided on this year's "get together" location I even wrote to the Gibraltar Director of museums to see if a group of WHS travellers could get a guided tour – it didn't receive the courtesy of a reply of any sort!. Either we are not important enough for even a negative response or he didn't want to be drawn on how the nomination was going.
The situation seems to be
a. There is NO uncontrolled access. 2 of the Caves were previously unprotected but Gibraltar promised to change this before nomination and has presumably done so
b. "The only persons permitted within the site are scientists and visitors under strict supervision by Gibraltar Museum staff."
So local boats are not allowed to land people. . I can't find a map of the site to discover its boundaries beyond the cave entrances to discover if it is possible simply to "enter" the inscribed area.
c. I have been told that "the best way by far to see Gorham's Cave is from the sea. That's how you really appreciate the context. And it's easily arranged."
. But this is hardly likely to be satisfactory to us without landings!
d. When the site was put forward by Gibraltar to the UK government for consideration as a potential WHS in 2010 there was mention of improving access "there is an opportunity for the ...... provision of controlled access for visitors. One of the issues surrounding the site is difficulty of access and World Heritage Status will encourage the provision of improved access under strict supervision.
"........." The Gibraltar Museum will ... also expand its existing education programme on prehistory and will liaise with the Tourist Board with a view to developing site visits, which are expected initially to be by boat which will minimise damage to the site itself. These aspects and the broader issues related to the site's management will be covered in the site's management plan which is currently being drafted.
" (the document containing these comments is still available on this Web site! - http://www.worldheritagesite.org/countries/Gorhams%20Cave%20(Gibraltar).pdf
e. The Gibraltar Museum Web site ( http://www.ice-age-europe.eu/visit-us/network-members/the-gibraltar-museum.html
) currently states something which might indicate that "some" access" might "sometimes" be possible - "Site visits can be organised including during the period of excavation where visitors can interact with archaeologists. For those unable to access the caves, visits are organised to the Parson's Lodge Field Station where the process of sieving sediment is demonstrated"
- but my request earlier this year got nowhere!! Perhaps "inscription" will change things a "bit"
It appears that Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation has produced a TV series on the subject of the Neanderthals etc. As far as I can discover only 1 program has been aired and it is viewable here - http://www.gbc.gi/tv/programmes/our-neanderthals-292