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Minister urges involvement in World Heritage Site consultation

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani has urged Scots to get involved in the latest consultation on World Heritage Sites.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is reviewing how the UK protects and promotes its sites of outstanding universal value, and whether to continue nominating new sites.

Ms Fabiani said: “It is vital that the experience we have of Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites is reflected in the public consultation. I am constantly impressed by the passion and commitment so many people have for these sites and I would ask them to get involved to help shape how these sites are nominated and protected in the future.”

Currently all UK nominations to be considered for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List are taken from the 1999 tentative list. This shortlist is updated every ten years. St Andrews; Arbroath Abbey; Glasgow School of Art/ Hill House and Loch Ness and the Great Glen have been suggested for future consideration.

Since the current list was drawn up, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has asked countries with the greatest number of existing World Heritage Sites to slow down or suspend their nominations in favour of less represented nations. In 2005 it also recommended that priority would be given to natural sites such as grasslands, wetlands or deserts.

The consultation will close on February 24th, 2009.

The Minister added: “There can be no question that many people across Scotland are justly proud that so many sites in our country are recognised on this global scale. I would urge those with direct experience of managing these World Heritage sites, those with ambitions for possible future nominations and those that have an interest in them take this opportunity to express their views.”

Copies of the consultation document and a report into the cost benefit analysis of World Heritage status can be found at

  1. The UK currently has 28 World Heritage Sites.
  2. The five Scottish sites are, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, St Kilda, The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, New Lanark and the Antonine Wall as part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire.
  3. The Scottish sites on the 1999 UK tentative list are The Cairngorm Mountains, The Forth Rail Bridge and The Flow Country.
  4. The UK nominations until July 2011 are Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal; Darwin’s Landscape Laboratory and the Twin Monastery of Wearmouth and Jarrow.
  5. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport is recognised by UNESCO as the UK state party for nominating World Heritage Sites.
  6. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit
  7. Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations

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