UK government announces seven sites it is backing to receive World UNESCO Heritage status - full list

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The seven sites have received official backing from the UK government to go on and receive UNESCO World Heritage status

Seven sites which have received official government backing in their bid to gain UNESCO World Heritage site status have been revealed. The sites have been given a significant boost towards receiving the prestigious title.

The sites make up what is known as the UK tentative list, which is a list of the sites to receive government support. The list is published around every 10 years.

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The list sets out the sites it feels have the best chance of succeeding. The government will now work with local authorities and devolved administrations to develop their bids.

Cultural sites on the list include York which has fantastic civic and religious buildings including its Minster as well as a rich history left behind by its Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman inhabitants.

Some sites on the list are included for their natural significance. The East Atlantic Flyway, a migratory bird route over western parts of Europe including Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, is one of these.

The flyway joins the UK’s list in recognition of its vital importance to bird populations and wildlife. The area sees huge transient bird populations pass through every year as the seasons change.

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Laura Davies, HM Ambassador to UNESCO, said: “It is great that the UK is contributing to making World Heritage more representative. These five sites brilliantly reflect the diversity and beauty of the UK and its Overseas Territories’ natural and cultural heritage, and I look forward to working with them towards World Heritage listing.

UK Tentative List

  • Birkenhead the People’s Park [Cultural]
  • East Atlantic Flyway – England East Coast Wetlands [Natural]
  • The Flow Country [Natural]
  • Gracehill Moravian Church Settlements [Cultural, Transnational]
  • Little Cayman Marine Parks and Protected Areas [Natural]
  • York [Cultural]
  • The Zenith of Iron Age Shetland [Cultural]

Full list of UK sites with World UNESCO Heritage Site

Cultural Sites

  • Blaenavon Industrial Landscape (2000)
  • Blenheim Palace (1987)
  • Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church (1988)
  • Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd (1986)
  • City of Bath (1987)
  • Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape (2006)
  • Derwent Valley Mills (2001)
  • Durham Castle and Cathedral (1986)
  • Frontiers of the Roman Empire (1987, 2005, 2008)
  • Gorham’s Cave Complex (2016)
  • Heart of Neolithic Orkney (1999)
  • Historic Town of St George and Related Fortifications, Bermuda (2000)
  • Ironbridge Gorge (1986)
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory (2019)
  • Maritime Greenwich (1997)
  • New Lanark (2001)
  • Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (1995)
  • Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey (1987)
  • Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal (2009)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (2003)
  • Saltaire (2001)
  • Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (1986)
  • Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey (1986)
  • The English Lake District (2017)
  • The Forth Bridge (2015)
  • The Great Spa Towns of Europe (2021)
  • The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales (2021)
  • Tower of London (1988)
  • Dorset and East Devon Coast (2001)
  • Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast (1986)
  • Gough and Inaccessible Islands (1995, 2004)
  • Henderson Island (1988)
  • St Kilda (1986, 2004, 2005)
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