The Lake District – a New World Heritage Site
The Lake District recently became a World Heritage Site, making it the only National Park in the UK to be awarded such an honour.
The region is now likely to attract more visitors than ever to its stunning landscapes, mountains, lakes and Windermere spa hotels.
The Lake District has now joined such iconic landmarks as the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon as a place of international acclaim.
Chairman of the Partnership, Lord Clark of Windermere, described the prestigious status as ‘momentous’ and said it will bring ‘great benefits for locals, visitors, tourism, businesses and farming’. The Lake District now joins just over 1,000 World Heritage Sites worldwide.
Lord Clark explained: “It is this exceptional blend which makes our Lake District so spectacularly unique and we are delighted UNESCO has agreed. A great many people have come together to make this happen and we believe the decision will have long and lasting benefits for the spectacular Lake District landscape, the 18million visitors we welcome every year and for the people who call the National Park their home.”
Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, said there was great excitement over the achievement.
Richard added: “The Lake District is an evolving landscape that has changed over time and will continue to do so. Improving landscape biodiversity and looking after our cultural heritage underpin the Partnership’s management plan which sets out how, together, we will look after the National Park as a World Heritage Site for everyone to enjoy.”
National Trust Assistant Director of Operations for the Lake District, Mike Innerdale, says: “We are delighted that World Heritage Site status recognises the Lakes as the spiritual home of the Trust and our work to look after it over the last 120 years. The status also celebrates the ever-evolving relationship between people and nature.
Whilst the Lake District has an exquisitely beautiful natural environment it is not in universal good health. The WHS bid partnership recognises that we are losing soils, our wildlife has declined and our rivers are in a pattern of repeated flooding. We also agree that we must address this as a matter of urgency, working together and not in isolation of other societal values including farming, culture, access, recreation and tourism.”
Cumbria Tourism Chairman, Eric Robson, says: “World Heritage status means that the Lake District becomes one of just over a thousand exclusive sites with this special stamp of recognition. Being a member of this exclusive club is a fantastic opportunity to communicate with new visitor markets across the globe and to raise awareness of the Lake District’s cultural and environmental assets. Of course, Cumbria already has a large part of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, so this additional boost can only re-inforce the county’s already strong reputation as a world class visitor destination.”
The committee suggested the impact of tourism be monitored and requested improvements in conservation efforts.
The delegates heard the 885 sq-mile (2,292 sq km) Lake District had been trying to obtain the UNESCO status since 1986.
If you are looking for somewhere special to stay in the Lake District, why not book into a Windermere spa hotel and make the most of your visit?