Apr 26

Lake District World Heritage Bid

Artistic Inspiration is one of the special characteristics of the Lake District that is being used to claim World Heritage Status – it being defined as a Cultural Landscape. A cultural landscape is one which has been shaped by the societies that have lived within it and made their mark on it by how they have worked it. Having inherited a landscape formed by fierce geological forces, most recently volcanic and then ice ages; Ullswater has twice been under tropical seas, leaving fragments of fossils on the mountain tops as proof. People moved in more than ten thousand years ago, archaeological traces of whom still exist today in the form of Neolithic stone circles, (of which there are several on the hills behind us), ancient settlements and Roman roads, (again on the fells behind Sharrow Bay), and forts. Long a battle ground for invading armies and the scots, the last thousand years evolved the hill farming, and industrial quarrying and mining that gave us the landscape we have today. In more recent centuries this landscape inspired many of Britain’s best artists and writers, creating a curiosity about this hitherto considered alien and neglected landscape, (except by the local people who lived here), that was the beginning of the Tourism industry we have today. Ullswater, being the inspiration for Wordsworth’s best known poem, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’, was included in his early Tourist Guides. He wrote that he considered ‘Ullswater, as being, perhaps, upon the whole, the happiest combination of beauty and grandeur, which any of the lakes affords’. It is also the site of old industrial mining at Glenridding; plus being surrounded in its remotest valleys by unchanged 1,000 year old farming landscapes, epitomising exactly the best of what this National park Authority World Heritage bid is about. You can back the bid by heading over to http://lakesworldheritage.co.uk/

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