28 March 2018
We were thrilled to welcome His Royal Highness (HRH), The Prince of Wales, to the Lake District this week (26th March) to join our World Heritage celebrations at Crow Park in Keswick.
The weather didn't disappoint and the early spring sunshine, plus the cheering crowds including more than 500 schoolchildren, gave a warm welcome to a host of special guests who came out to see the official UNESCO World Heritage plaque unveiled for the first time.
Special guests, including Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis MP and Chair for UNESCO UK, Beth Taylor, were treated to a programme of local talent to kick off proceedings.
The sequence of performances, commissioned by Theatre by the Lake, included a dance piece by its Young Company and The Hired Man by St Herbert’s Primary School, Keswick, including an introduction from pupil Thomas White. Actress Elizabeth Mansfield also performed, singing Hymn of Love Homage by Piaf.
Lord Clark of Windermere was next to take to the stage and he spoke of this designation not only being for the Lake District, but for the benefit of Cumbria, the UK and the wider world, before inviting Prince Charles to the stage.
HRH talked fondly of his love for the Lake District and said it seemed entirely appropriate that the Lake District’s inscription was in the Cultural Landscape category, describing how the ‘incomparable beauty’ was a consequence of more than one thousand years of human activity.
His Royal Highness explained: "To me, it is something of a triumph that this traditional land use continues to this day, even in the face of severe social, economic and environmental pressures. As we stand looking out over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale, the importance of the link between human activity and landscape could not be clearer."
The UNESCO plaque, a requirement of all World Heritage Sites, is now open for all to see and enjoy at Crow Park. It is set within an installation built from locally-sourced drystone and slate from Honister Slate Mine, with recycled stones from the National Trust’s Crow Park donation cairn.
Thank you to everyone who joined the celebrations and all those who have shared their congratulations and excitement at the World Heritage Site status becoming officially marked this week.
If you couldn't make the event and you can hear HRH Prince Charles' full speech here
Look at more photos from the day on our Facebook page.
Top image courtesy of Clarence House.