Remote Access to World Heritage Sites – conference 23-24 November 2011

Remote Access to World Heritage – I Know Where I’m Going, Conference, 23-24 November 2011, Edinburgh, UK

The UK National Commission for UNESCO is running a conference on the potential for new technologies to create remote-access for visitors to World Heritage or other cultural or natural sites.  St Kilda World Heritage Site will be used as a case study throughout the Conference to look at the issues of providing remote access to sensitive sites. See also the Scottish Ten website, which is a five-year digital project to scan and create digital models of the 5 Scottish World Heritage Sites, and 5 international sites in order to better conserve and manage them.


The case of Orkney Wind Turbines

Stenness, Orkney; Copyright: Historic Scotland

Scottish Ministers announced today their decision to refuse planning permission for the proposed development of three wind turbines at Merranblo, Stromness, Orkney. The application was considered at a local public inquiry in January 2008. ICOMOS-UK appeared at the inquiry along with other organisations, such as Historic Scotland, Orkney Archaeological Trust, Orkney Skyline Concern and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The World Heritage Site (WHS) in Orkney was inscribed on the World Heritage List as “a major prehistoric cultural landscape that provides a graphic depiction of life in a remote archipelago in the far north of Scotland some 5,000 years ago. […] The monuments of Orkney, dating back to 3000-2000 BC, are outstanding testimony to the cultural achievements of the Neolithic peoples of northern Europe” (UNESCO World Heritage Centre). At the Inquiry ICOMOS-UK expressed concern about the adverse impact of the turbines on the historic environment of the WHS and its setting, as we believed that the site of the proposed development was located within the area of visual impact of the WHS.

The World Heritage Convention in 1972 was set out to identify, protect and preserve for future generations cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding universal value to humanity. ICOMOS-UK believed that the erection of the proposed wind turbines would compromise this very sensitive Scottish landscape and therefore have a detrimental impact on the outstanding universal value for which the WHS was inscribed in 1999.

The report by the Scottish Ministers concluded that “given the international importance of the cultural heritage resources of the area […] the objective of preserving these monuments within an appropriate setting is consistent with the fundamental objectives of national policy”.

Scottish World Heritage Sites in the wider European context

A series of four illustrated lectures and discussion
All lectures to be held in the Board Room of NTS Headquarters

28 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, at 5.45 for 6.00pm (to end by 8.00pm)

The Antonine Wall

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Dr David Breeze (Historic Scotland) on “The Antonine Wall and its relevance to the wider European definition of the boundaries of the Roman Empire”

Tuesday 18 November 2008:

Robin Turner, Head of Archaeology at the National Trust for Scotland, will describe the process of submitting St Kilda for the double nomination of both cultural and natural values, and will set this in the context of other similar sites.

Tuesday 20 January 2009:

Adam Wilkinson, Director, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, will discuss the issues for the management and enhancement of the central core of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh within the wider city, and its broader social and economic planning framework, with reference to other similar World Heritage cities in Europe.

Tuesday 17 February 2009:

Dr James Arnold, Director of New Lanark Heritage Trust, will speak about the mixed use of the World Heritage Site with its social, economic and historical values, and will make comparisons with other similar multi-use sites in other parts of Europe.

Spaces at each lecture/discussion will be limited, and early reservation of places is recommended (contact Lester Borley: e-mail: or tel: 0131332 2364).

Cost for each lecture is £5 (Europa Nostra UK or NTS member) or £7 (non-members), to include a glass of wine at the conclusion of each event.

Conserving Scotland’s Retail Buildings Seminar

Monday 22nd September 2008, The Lighthouse, Glasgow, 9am-4.15pm

This seminar will examine the history and materials associated with the architecture of Scotland’s retail buildings and will consider current issues facing their conservation and protection.

Speakers include some of the leading authorities involved in the conservation of shops and the topics are likely to appeal to planners, conservation officers, architects and surveyors as well as those involved in conservation-led regeneration projects.

For more information about the event please click here. To book a place at the event call Historic Scotland on 0131 668 8683

Antonine Wall joins the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site


Antonine Wall, photo: electropod

At its 32nd session in Quebec, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee agreed on 8 July to inscribe the Antonine Wall on the World Heritage list as part of the ambitious, international, trans-boundary World Heritage Site of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire.

The Antonine Wall, forming the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire, becomes the third part of this serial nomination, joining Hadrian’s Wall and the German Limes. Other parts of the frontier which stretches around the Mediterranean region will in time be added as other countries nominate their sections of the frontier which represents the greatest extent of the Roman Empire.

Built following an invasion of what is now Scotland during 139-142 and occupied for possibly only 20 years, it served as the most northerly frontier of the Roman empire at the high point
of its power and influence in the ancient world.
(from statement of Outstanding Universal Value)

Continue reading