Why it's great that the Lake District is a UNESCO site

Why it's great that the Lake District is a UNESCO site

The Lake District is a truly beautiful location. It’s filled with picturesque views, villages, mountainous areas, and hiking trails that people of any age and ability can use. It is England’s biggest National Park, taking up 912 square miles in total. It’s the most well-known location in England, and millions of people visit the Lake District every year.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a specialist agency responsible for promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture. It is their aim, as an organization, to contribute to peace and sustainability, as well as ensuring that intercultural communication is available in a range of ways.

We’re sure that you’re wondering how this relates to the Lake District. Well, UNESCO have the ability to label certain areas and landmarks as “World Heritages Sites”. This means that the area or landmark in question has, according to UNESCO, significant cultural, historical, scientific, or educational implications. These sites are legally protected and must be a unique place to be considered a World Heritage Site. World Heritage Sites must be a classified landmark to be considered as a notable area by UNESCO.

What this means for the Lake District, is that the entire area is under UNESCO protection and listed as a World Heritage Site. Other World Heritage Sites include landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, and the Great Barrier Reef. The area became a UNESCO site in July 2017, and the announcement led to a celebration the following weekend – a picnic in the park event where visitors were encouraged to go to their favourite picnic spot in the Lake District and snap a photo to share with #WeAreTheLakes.

Being a World Heritage Site literally puts the Lake District on the map; even more so than when it was considered a simple landmark. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are just over 1,000 in number and they can be found worldwide. Each site awarded this prestigious title typically benefits from an increased number of visitors, more publicity, better protection, and it shines a light on important areas in the world that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Three key themes were paramount when recognising the Lake District for World Heritage Status: examples of identity, inspiration, and how well loved the area is. It is because the Lake District highlights the importance of the environment, as well as art and culture, that it was able to gain World Heritage Status.

For the future, this means that the Lake District will always be protected. Over 15 million people visit this area every year, and it is a loved part of any child’s life when they grow up in England. Schools often visit the area, and it’s a great tourist destination. There are always events, workshops, or informational gatherings going on somewhere in the Lake District; and with so many places to see and visit, it’s no wonder that this breath-taking place has been recognised for how important it truly is.