Home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike and deepest lake, Wastwater, the spectacular landscape of the Lake District has provided inspiration for writers and artists such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Thomas de Quincey and Beatrix Potter.
Scafell Pike and Wastwater in Wasdale Valley, Lake District, Cumbria, UK/Credit: Joe Cornish, Getty
Now following an announcement in Kraków, Poland, the Lake District has become the first UK national park to be granted the illustrious World Heritage status.
Up against 33 other sites and judged by a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) committee, the Lake District was recognised as a cultural landscape of international significance, loved for its lakes and mountain landscape and the inspiration it had provided for farming and culture.
Sheep farming in the Lake District/Credit: Getty
The bid was submitted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, Sport and Historic England as the UK’s only submission in 2016.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism John Glen, said: “The Lake District is one of the UK’s most stunning and ancient landscapes and I am thrilled it has been granted World Heritage Site status. It is a unique part of the world, that combines a vibrant farming community with thousands of archaeological sites and structures that give us an amazing glimpse into our past.”
Concern to protect the beauty of the Lake District has been behind the birth of conservation in the UK, including the National Trust and protected areas including UK National Parks.
Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, said: “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.”
The Lake District becomes the UK’s 31st UNESCO World Heritage site and joins more than 1,000 World Heritage Sites worldwide.
Main image: View of Ullswater from Gowbarrow Park – this photo is included in the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage Status/Credit: Lake District National Park/Andrew Locking