<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Now that the Lake District is a World Heritage Site, what happens next?

PUBLISHED: 00:00 27 July 2017

Panorama Over Water Head and Lake Windermere by John Cobham

Panorama Over Water Head and Lake Windermere by John Cobham

Archant

After being granted World Heritage status, work begins to build a successful future for the Lake District, writes Paul Mackenzie

Derwent Water view by David Ashmore Derwent Water view by David Ashmore

The Lake District’s inclusion on the Unesco list of World Heritage sites has been greeted with joy across the region. After more than 20 years of trying, the national park was added to the list last month, putting it alongside the likes of the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China as one of the world’s most special places.

For those of us who know the area well, it’s easy to see why the Unesco committee reached the decision. It’s a place of superlatives – England’s largest natural lake, the country’s highest mountain, and the most beautiful scenery. It has inspired some of the best loved writers, artists and poets and it now attracts about 18m visitors a year who spend a total of £1.2bn and sustain in the region of 18,000 jobs.

It is the 31st place in the UK and overseas territories to be put on the Unesco World Heritage List and as they announced their decision, the delegates praised the area’s beauty, farming and the inspiration it had provided to artists and writers. But they also wanted the impact of tourism be monitored, improvements in conservation efforts and called for more affordable housing.

And those concerns have been echoed by Douglas Chalmers, chief executive of the Friends of the Lake District group. He told Lancashire Life: ‘We want to see cultural heritage continue to evolve with no landscape harm in the future, and have some concerns that the resultant increase in publicity and awareness of the Lake District may lead to more unsustainable tourism – whether an increase in international flights or, and more directly affecting the area, an increase in car journeys and the threat of inappropriate developments.

Coniston Old Man by Rob Mcewen Coniston Old Man by Rob Mcewen

‘We see an opportunity to develop and adopt more sustainable tourism practices and transport solutions that reduce the risk of harm to our landscape yet contribute to an economic benefit.

‘We would like to see the status used as a focus to grow the value of sustainable tourism by giving people more reasons to make day visits and sustained visits while ensuring the landscapes they come to enjoy are managed appropriately.’

And he added: ‘This gives everyone involved in protecting and enhancing the Lake District National Park a fresh opportunity to ensure that the park is managed in a sustainable way to guarantee the unique qualities of the Lake District are there for future generations to discover. Achieving Word Heritage Site status provides a further level of accountability for us all.

‘Winning this status marks the beginning of a new adventure and there is still much to do to ensure the threats and opportunities are balanced appropriately.’

Wast Water by Martin Cottam Wast Water by Martin Cottam

Steve Ratcliffe, director of sustainable development at the Lake District National Park, said the application had been a ‘long time in the making’ and he was ‘incredibly proud’ of the landscape which has been shaped by nature, farming and industry.

He told the committee: ‘The Lake District now becomes an international and global property and we look forward to working with you and our communities to make sure this site inspires future generations around the world.’

The UK now has 31 world heritage sites including Stonehenge, Durham Castle and Cathedral, and the city of Bath, the Tower of London, Canterbury Cathedral and the Giant’s Causeway.

Lord Clark of Windermere, who chaired the Lake District’s bid, said the decision recognised the region’s contribution to culture, art and literature, as well as its landscape.

Loughrigg Tarn by Susan Lowe Loughrigg Tarn by Susan Lowe

He said: ‘It is this exceptional blend which makes our Lake District so spectacularly unique and we are delighted Unesco has agreed.

‘A great many people have come together to make this happen and we believe the decision will have long and lasting benefits for the spectacular Lake District landscape, the 18m visitors we welcome every year and for the people who call the national park their home.’

Nigel Wilkinson, managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises, added: ‘World Heritage Status is another opportunity to build the reputation of the Lake District internationally.

‘We think it will be a great way to help encourage international visitors to venture outside London and highlight the Lake District, as the favoured destination to prospective visitors from a wide variety of countries around the globe.’

Tarn Hows by Marie Savage Tarn Hows by Marie Savage

QUIZ - Can you name these landmarks in the Lake District?

All the photos in this article have been uploaded by our readers over the years, add your images to our reader photo gallery?

More from Out & About

Wed, 17:09

There are many forces of nature to witness in the Lake District, we pick six of our favourite waterfalls.

Read more
Lake District

Rebekka O’Grady and photographer John Cocks meet some of the new independent businesses calling Southport home

Read more
Southport
Monday, February 12, 2018

How many of these local landmarks can you recognise?

Read more
Quiz Spring
Friday, February 9, 2018

Plans for around 600 new houses to be built in pretty Wyre village

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

John Lenehan toasts the re-opening of a Lancashire engineering landmark and notes an invention to revive any walker.

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kirkby Lonsdale sits on the spot where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland meet, making it a great base to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. All these walks start of within a ten mile radius of Kirkby Lonsdale, making them a perfect day trip for anyone staying close to the historic market town.

Read more
Kirkby Lonsdale
Monday, February 5, 2018

From businesses selling banjoes to bridalwear from a former New York costume designer, Colne is a town for all seasons. Mairead Mahon reports.

Read more
Colne
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lake District walks dominate the top ten of Britain’s 100 list.

Read more
Lake District Lake District Walks
Friday, January 26, 2018

Barrow was built on hard graft but there’s plenty of beauty to be found as well, as Mike Glover reports

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDY KITCHING

Read more
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Despite its bad reputation, the cuckoo has been a great and clever survivor in the wild. However, numbers have dipped since the 1970s. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates this iconic spring bird.

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Many of us are frustrated by our inability to swim well. Sarah Hill did something about it and now helps others. She spoke to Roger Borrell.

Read more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Celebrate the historic waterways of Lancashire with one of these canalside walks that allow you to enjoy the countryside and witness echoes the the county’s industrial past.

Read more
Canals
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Their football clubs both wear navy blue and white strips, but how well can you identify landmarks in Bolton and Preston?

Read more
Preston Bolton Quiz
Friday, January 12, 2018

Spring is not too far off and that’s the time when the birds start getting noisier in our woodlands. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates a couple of the stars of the Dawn Chorus.

Read more
Spring
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search