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The next 5 reasons the Lake District deserves World Heritage status

05 August 2015

The Lake District is a cultural landscape that has inspired generations of artists, writers, industrialists, entrepreneurs and farmers to shape the world around them. It is continually changing as communities, visitors and businesses blend together to create an evolving masterpiece.

But what really makes it so special and why do we deserve to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site?

We have created ten unique attributes of the Lake District to define the evolving masterpiece that is our wonderful backdrop and the place we know and love…

Let’s take a look at the final five in our list:


6. Farming Heritage

Hill farming has helped to shape the Lake District for over a thousand years and still defines the character of the area today. Our farming heritage includes shepherds meets, local dialect and traditional sports and shows. The Lake District fells are home to two indigenous breeds of sheep, the Herdwick and the Rough Fell.

7. Common Land

The Lake District is farmed in a distinctive way with small inbye fields in the valley bottoms, intake fields on the valley sides and unenclosed, communal grazing land on the higher fells. The Lake District has the largest area of common land in Europe. The fields in the central Lake District are bounded by stone walls, many of which were built centuries ago and have been rebuilt many times.

8. Artistic Inspiration

The natural backdrop of the Lake District includes rich flora and fauna. Significant habitats range from the coast to high mountains and include lakes, wetlands, peat bogs and native woodland. Significant local wildlife includes freshwater mussels, native fish including Arctic charr and vendace, natterjack toads and red squirrels. Many of these have both national and European importance.

9. Villas, Parks & Gardens

The early tourists were quickly followed by people of means who wished to live in the area and construct picturesque villas and designed landscapes. Examples include the house on Belle Isle in Windermere and Lyulph’s Tower, both built in the mid- 18th century. The arrival of the railway at Windermere in 1847 opened the way for more visitors and Lake District towns began to cater for mass tourism.

10. Conservation

The recognition and appreciation of the spectacular beauty of the Lake District by visitors in the 18th century soon led to the desire to protect the area. As a result, the Lake District became the birthplace of a landscape conservation movement which has had global influence and includes the origins of the National Trust.


Tell us what you think #lakedistrictbid

In the meantime…don’t forget to tell us what you think makes the Lake District special, share your photos, videos and more using our hashtag #lakedistrictbid and show your support!


About the author

World Heritage Team

Coordinating World Heritage Site communications on behalf of the Lake District National Park Partnership