THE Lake District’s quest for World Heritage status has reached another significant milestone after 25 of the area’s leading organisations formally endorsed the nomination.
Partners including the National Trust, Cumbria Tourism and Natural England agreed the documents that make the Lake District’s case for being globally important at the latest Lake District National Park Partnership meeting.
Once finalised, these will be submitted to the UK government and Historic England ahead of formal submission to UNESCO in the ‘cultural landscape’ category in early 2016.
The bid demonstrates how the landscape of the Lake District has been shaped by farming and local industry for thousands of years, which in turn inspired the Romantic poets and subsequent global conservation movement, including the start of the National Trust.
Mike Innerdale, assistant director of operations for the National Trust in the Lake District, said: “The strength of this plan is that each partner has contributed not just their expertise, but also their commitment to nourishing this iconic landscape for the long term, both for the communities that live and work here and for those who experience it as a visitor.”
The bid is in two parts: the nomination document defines why the Lake District deserves the international status of World Heritage inscription and the Partnership’s Plan outlines the future management, development and conservation of the Lake District.
Richard Greenwood, head of operations for Cumbria Tourism, said: “It has taken a huge effort from all the partners to reach this stage. We believe there will be real benefits for the county’s visitor economy from World Heritage inscription – for example, just a one per cent increase in cultural visitors could boost our economy by about £20m. We will continue to play our part in making it happen.”
Steve Ratcliffe, director of sustainable development for the Lake District National Park Authority, added: “World Heritage is a huge opportunity for global recognition that will finally, and rightly, put the Lake District on the global map.
“It will raise its cultural profile, showcase the special relationship between farming and this stunning landscape which will continue to evolve, and create a real sense of community pride that will inspire future generations.”
This is the biggest milestone for the Lake District National Park Partnership’s bid since January 2014 when the government confirmed the nomination.
A copy of the Partnership’s Plan, nomination document and ideas to get involved in the World Heritage campaign can be viewed on the World Heritage website: http://lakesworldheritage.co.uk/bid/