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Visualising OUV

10 March 2020

The reasons why the English Lake District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or what our Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is, are complicated. They are both tangible and intangible and this makes explaining them difficult.

So when the chance comes along to try and explain OUV via professional photography, the opportunity should be grasped. After all a picture paints a thousands words.

This was the case when the Lake District WHS team met Dr. Sam Rose at a recent WH:UK event. Sam was the CEO of the Jurassic Coast WHS for many years and still consults on World Heritage. He is also now undertaking an MA in photography and was interested as part of his course in capturing OUV visually.

Having a bank of images will help to tell our WH story. Over a couple of visits to the Lakes, Sam will attempt to capture images of attributes and components of our OUV. These will then be available for use editorially by Lake District partners, when they want to visually communicate our World Heritage stories.

For Sam's first trip up in March, the weather was relatively kind and provided dramatic and moody backdrops. In the couple of days he was here, Sam visited Windermere looking at old viewing stations, spent time in Langdale visiting a working upland farm and walking through the classic farmed landscape, as well as a working quarry, and then in Borrowdale again photographing Picturesque views, a working slate mine and agro-pastoral features.

Sam was keen as part of his MA to try using a large format camera - think Ansel Adams. The negative was many times larger than standard 35mm or a DSLR's sensor, so he's hoping that the detail captured will really showcase the Lakes' landscapes. Mind it wasn't easy - the subject matter is upside down and back to front, and the camera person needs to view the image under a hood.

We look forward to seeing Sam's results soon and a second visit in the summer is scheduled.

About the author

Mairi Lock World Heritage Site Coordinator Lake District World Heritage Site

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