World Heritage Sites

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd August 2020.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair, Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made with regard to the applications for World Heritage Status for (1) Chatham Dockyard and its Defences, (2) Creswell Crags, (3) Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory, (4) Flow Country, (5) Great Spas of Europe, (6) Island of St Helena, (7) Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof: the Zenith of Iron Age Shetland, (8) Slate Industry of North Wales, (9) The Twin Monastery of Wearmouth Jarrow, and (10) Turks and Caicos Islands.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UNESCO World Heritage inscription is recognition that a cultural or natural site is of Outstanding Universal Value to humanity. As such, the process for achieving this status is highly rigorous. Each State Party to the World Heritage Convention is responsible for maintaining a tentative list of sites from which nominations may be developed.

The sites mentioned in this question are all on the UK’s current tentative list. As each country may only nominate a maximum of one site per year from this list, the UK government will only submit nominations which clearly demonstrate that a site meets the criteria, authenticity, integrity and management required. In January 2020, the Government nominated the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales to UNESCO for potential inscription in 2021. The Great Spas of Europe, which includes Bath, was nominated in 2019 alongside 11 other spa towns throughout Europe and will be considered for inscription at the next World Heritage Committee meeting. Additionally, the Flow Country has passed a UK expert evaluation, and now may proceed to develop a nomination. Other sites on this list are at earlier stages in the process, or have determined that they do not intend to move forward with the development of a nomination at this stage.

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