World Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind and protecting and preserving these amazing places demands the collective efforts of all of us, and the national charity World Heritage UK lays its part for the UK Sites. World Heritage Day, on the 18th of April, offers an opportunity to raise people’s awareness about the diversity of cultural and natural heritage we have in the UK and across the world, and the efforts that are required to look after it. Put simply, it is an opportunity to shout about how fantastic our World Heritage is, and you can find out more at https://worldheritageuk.org/whday17/
April 18th is an ‘official’ international celebration day first proposed by ICOMOS, the International Council for Monuments and Sites and then approved by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (the part of the UN that manages World Heritage) – in 1983. Each year has a theme, and this year’s theme is sustainable tourism, but many Sites simply choose to use the day to raise awareness.
A number of UK World Heritage Sites are celebrating the day this year with a programme of events, including the City of Bath, Durham Cathedral, Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, Ironbridge Gorge, Saltaire, Maritime Greenwich, and all of the six Scottish World Heritage Sites. Activities include diverting rivers, creating St Kilda in Minecraft, guided walks, illuminations, craft activities, ceramics workshops, games, short talks and even yarnbombing! The Jurassic Coast is not running any specific events, but do please take the chance to visit our fantastic coastline.
World Heritage UK, the national charity that represents the UK’s 30 World Heritage Sites is collating this information on its website at https://worldheritageuk.org/whday17/ so make this your first point of call for your guide to the day. They are also preparing a Twitter Thunderclap and will have a Twitter World Heritage hour in the afternoon on the 18th, so keep watching the hashtag #WHDay2017, and sign up to their twitter feed at @worldheritageuk to see what happens!
Dr Sam Rose, Chair of World Heritage UK, and manager of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, says “We have 30 outstanding UK World Heritage Sites, 25 of which are on the mainland of our four home nations, ranging from the spectacular Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales, through to the Palace of Westminster and the Neolithic Sites of Orkney. Even if your local World Heritage Site doesn’t have an event on the 18th April, please pay it a visit and be amazed.” The full list of UK World Heritage Sites can be seen at https://worldheritageuk.org/about/ourworldheritagesites/