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Lake District eyes up fresh World Heritage bid

Posted 27 June 2012
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Lake District eyes up fresh World Heritage bid
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The Lake District may be the best place in the world to go walking for some people but for others, it is a hotbed of literary brilliance, from Wordsworth to Beatrix Potter.

Either aspect could, one imagines, qualify for the area for Unesco World Heritage status, which is awarded to a place with either outstanding scenic or cultural qualities.

Most of the UK sites on the list are there because of their cultural and historic value, such as the Tower of London, Stonehenge and the City of Bath. A few, like the Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland, are there for their natural features. Just one - the island of St Kilda - is listed for both categories.

The Lake District's latest bid for this status has failed to pass the first hurdle, which was to gain nomination from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Responding to their feedback that the bid needs "substantial development", the bid leader Lord David Clark told the Westmorland Gazette: "We will be looking at how we will manage the World Heritage Site when we get it.

"We have to convince the United Nations (which awards the status) that we have in hand a management plan, a technical evaluation, as to how we will do it."

For many, of course, the change in status will make little difference. Adventurers heading for Pillar Rock or Napes Needle with climbing ropes may be indifferent to the numbers visiting the homes of famous literary or educational figures. And for walkers adding to their Wainwright tally, it is exploring the landscape about which so much ink has been spilt that matters most. 

And for those enjoying the view from a lake shore, hurtling down the Whinlatter Forest mountain bike trails, casting fishing rods into its trout steams or exploring curiosities and hidden wonders from the Priest's Cave to the Bowder Stone, the beauty of the Lake District will be undiminished whether it gets world heritage status or not.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801394686-ADNFCR