Author: Nathan Akrill

View of East Cliff from West BayWorld Heritage Sites are selected by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation.  One of their requirements is that each Site should have a Management Plan.  This is a document that sets out details about the Site, why it is important, who is involved in its management and how they will make sure it is protected and conserved for future generations.

The Jurassic Coast Management Plan was last revised in 2003.  Every five or six years, UNESCO and the UK Government require that those responsible for the management and stewardship of WH Sites review and refresh their Management Plan to take account of any changes needed.

In our case the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Steering Group and Team has been working for the last year to review the 2003 Plan. A lot has happened since then, not least 6 years of experience of managing a World Heritage Site, and major changes to some of our partner organisations and the way World Heritage Sites are protected in the planning system.

Partly the analysis over the last year has shown that the existing plan has held up well, a testament to the forward thinking of the team who put together the nomination to UNESCO.  However, it has also shown that World Heritage Sites are complex areas to manage, particular ones like ours which are owned by over 80 different landowners, receives millions of tourists to its beaches a year and which is subject to external shocks such as the beaching of the MSC Napoli in 2007.

The revised plan is to be published for public consultation in February.  Changes within it reflect a longer term approach and build on work programmes that have developed over the last six years, including in transport, arts, interpretation and events.  It also has a heightened emphasis on maintaining the core Earth Science values of the Site, and on conservation and presentation of the natural environment more widely than just geology, such as prevention of marine litter.

The revised management plan will be published on in February, and will be subject to consultation for eight weeks.  If you wish to be sent a copy please email us at with your contact details and whether you prefer a paper or electronic copy.

Sam Rose, Team Leader.

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