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Fifth anniversary of the English Lake District‘s inscription as a UNESCO Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site (WHS).

08 July 2022

Mairi Lock, the English Lake District's World Heritage Site Coordinator says this is an ideal opportunity to reflect on some of the achievements of the last five years.
So what's been happening?
We are supporting our farming communities

For over a thousand years, farming has shaped the Lake District landscape and still defines the character of the area today. Read some of these stories from farmers who are part of the Lake District’s cultural landscape and who are living and working within a World Heritage Site.
There has been engagement and support for our farming communities through Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL).The three-year programme was launched last year by the government (Defra) and is being managed locally by the Lake District National Park Authority. Lake District farmers and landowners are being offered funding for a variety of projects under the four themes: climate, nature, people and place. This is worth £3 million over three years.

    Year one 2021/2022 the grant offered in the region of  £550,000
    Year two 2022/23 is expected to offer grants of £975,000 and the
    Year three 2023/24 are expected to offer grants of £734,000.

Other support has been in the form of sponsoring farming shows, a survey of agricultural shows, a farm survey and a number of free online agri-environment information workshops for Lake District farmers and land managers to help them find out more about changes to funding as well as appointing a Farming Officer and Assistant Farming Officer.

sheep show with LDNPA farming support poster

We are supporting our businesses and organisations

WHS branding was developed to celebrate the inscription of the English Lake District WHS and there is a toolkit and a selection of branding assets for businesses and organisations to use. Such as:

image of water bottle with WHS branding
The branding is gathering momentum, particularly in locally produced food, drinks and craft markets and will bring a new opportunity to differentiate local businesses from others particularly to the tourism market.  More on the branding can be found on www.lakesworldheritage.

We are restoring our traditional buildings

In terms of built heritage, the Building Restoration Programme, piloted within the Lake District, and funded by Defra, is aimed at restoring traditional agricultural buildings. Defra have made £8m available for the pilot in five National Parks. The programme has seen 11 buildings in the pilot restored to date within the English Lake District. Including Arklid barn below.

image of Arklid barn restored

The National Heritage Lottery Fund has supported several initiatives within the World Heritage Site, since inscription, including:

 Support for our industrial heritage: Coniston Copper mines – including the restoration and inclusion of new interpretative material, Greenside Mines and Duddon Iron Furnace restoration.

We are celebrating our people and place

 Support for arts and culture: Wordsworth Trust at Dove Cottage and Museum; and Lakeland Arts Trust with the rebuilding of Windermere Jetty (Steam Boat Museum) shortlisted for Sterling Prize for architecture 2021
To spread understanding of the WHS and its cultural heritage and landscape, interpretations have been successfully installed within several historic parks including: the official UNESCO installation at Crow Park, Keswick opened in 2018 by HRH Prince Charles
Claife Heights Viewing Station – the only physical Thomas West viewing station, now restored by the National Trust
Stanley Ghyll viewing platform (pictures below) in the Western Lakes, with the pleasure grounds being cleared of invasive rhododendron.

Stanley Ghyll viewing platform

And coming soon, Aira Force sky walk

Looking to the future

The new Partnership Plan 2020-2025 was adopted Dec 2021 and is a joint Management Plan for the English Lake District WHS and National Park. It sets out the strategic challenges for the next five years to address vibrant communities, climate action, future of farming and forestry, nature recovery and climate change, a Lake District for everyone and sustainable travel and transport. These actions also contribute to delivering the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Plan encourages visitors to travel to and around the Lake District sustainably to look after the World Heritage Site.

It's wonderful that people who live in, work in, visit and love the Lake District are embracing the UNESCO World Heritage Site Status and it's exciting to see what the next five years will bring for this special place.

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