World Heritage Blog

World Heritage Blog

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The world will be watching this summer when the decision will be made on the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage site status.

For three years, since the Government announced it would submit the Lake District for consideration in the category of ‘cultural landscapes’, the Lake District National Park has been working with 25 partners, including the National Trust, Cumbria County Council and Forestry Commission to create a compelling case for international recognition.

What would it mean for the Lakes? The government has pledged to provide resources to protect World Heritage Sites so having this status could attract more funding and investment into the Lake District.

Estimates suggest that just a one percent switch to cultural visitors who spend more on accommodation, leisure and food and drink could boost our economy by about £20m per year.

The profile of the Lake District will be elevated internationally as we become an international brand on the 'A-list' of places to visit.

So there’s a lot resting on the decision, and a lot of work, and lobbying, has been going on behind the scenes. But while we care about the outcome, and will be watching as keenly as everyone else, one thing will remain whether we win that status or not: our landscape.

No amount of listing or awarding of labels can make any difference to what we have here, the most spectacularly beautiful landscape in the whole world.

Sure, we’re biased, but that’s why we came to live here. We’ve seen some lovely places but none that has the combination of dramatic scenery and accessibility. We’ve seen the look on the faces of first-time visitors who see the Langdale Pikes across the lake, and are astonished to learn that THEY could be up there in a couple of hours. Americans, and Europeans used to Alpine territory, think that you’d need to bivouac for a night or two before you could reach the summit.

So let’s keep fingers crossed for the judgement day, but let’s not fear what might happen either way. Nothing is going to change here, apart from the weather!

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