World Heritage Site set for a royal stamp of approval

Published on: 15 Mar 2018

People enjoying the sunshine next to a clear lake.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, has been confirmed as the guest of honour at a special community event to mark the Lake District as a World Heritage Site on 26 March.

The Prince of Wales will attend the event at Crow Park, Keswick, and unveil the official UNESCO plaque to mark the designation.

The event will be a celebration of the unique cultural landscape of the Lake District and in addition to the unveiling will feature a selection of musical performances in conjunction with Theatre by the Lake. 

Members of the community are invited to attend this special day for the Lake District. The event will take place in Crow Park and members of the public should arrive at the Lake Road entrance by 10am and on foot as the car park will not be open to the public.

The journey to World Heritage Site status was led by Lord Clark of Windermere, managed by the Lake District National Park Partnership and submitted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Historic England.

Chairman of the Partnership, Lord Clark of Windermere, welcomed the news and encouraged people to attend this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Lord Clark said: “I am looking forward to welcoming His Royal Highness to the UNESCO English Lake District World Heritage Site to help us mark this special occasion, and hope people will join us in the celebration. This plaque will give local people and visitors a place to come and appreciate not just the spectacular landscape, but also the rich, cultural history of the Lake District as a World Heritage Site.”

UNESCO asks all World Heritage Sites to celebrate their status by erecting an official plaque, but with so many inspirational view points to choose from across the Lake District, a number of locations and plaques were considered by the Partnership. The criteria included a stunning landscape view, good public access for all and strong representation of the three World Heritage Site themes of cultural landscape: identity, inspiration and conservation.

National Trust’s Crow Park, overlooking Derwent Water, was chosen for this special event.

Mike Innerdale, National Trust Regional Director of Operations, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome and host the official UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription plaque on National Trust land at Crow Park on behalf of the Lake District World Heritage Partnership.”

“Crow Park could not be a better choice. It’s played a crucial role within the Lake District’s World Heritage story; bearing witness to the way that people have shaped the landscape of the Lakes. It’s played a part in the discovery of beautiful landscapes, and as the location of a pivotal moment that shaped how we value and conserve landscapes. We’re honoured to have our roots and way of conserving landscapes recognised as globally significant.”

Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, explained how the benefits of this new status were already being seen across the National Park.

“Since last summer, we have seen some great examples of organisations, businesses and communities using World Heritage status to flourish and prosper,” Richard said.

“From inspirational cultural events to welcoming first-time visitors to the park, this global recognition has encouraged new opportunities, while continuing to be a much loved national park for everyone to enjoy.”

As with other large scale World Heritage Sites, the Partnership intends to host further visitor information and interpretation across the landscape of the National Park in the future.

The special inscription event was made possible through funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development as part of the LEADER programme.

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