Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - February 2010

In a world of 24 hour news and immediate access to information through a bewildering range of new media, it is often difficult for small charities and organisations to ensure that their voice is heard.

Feb 10, 2010
In a world of 24 hour news and immediate access to information through a bewildering range of new media, it is often difficult for small charities and organisations to ensure that their voice is heard. EWH has launched itself into the world of Facebook and Twitter through our energy efficiency project, taking a rather more targeted approach as opposed to a scattergun of random information that his might otherwise lead to.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to have a good look at our website and see how we can improve it. Expect a gentle evolution to a website which makes it easier to understand what we do, which allows us to continue to expand it as a resource for householders, the community, teachers and conservation professionals and which takes advantage of the stunning picture library that has been collected (and to which we continue to add) over the last thirty years or so. The first area of expansion will be in the realm of learning, with a series of resources for teachers going live soon.

We have recently published our printed teachers’ pack for the repaired Nelson Monument, which has also been awarded four star status by Visit Scotland, following the joint EWH and City of Edinburgh Council project to repair it and refresh its interiors. The Twelve Monuments repair programme continues with preparatory works for repairs to St Bernard’s Well and the Charles II statue.

School children, police, residents and councillors have all been busy at the Scotland Street Tunnel, where EWH is supporting the community’s project to rejuvenate the park and area around the tunnel mouth, starting off with the demolition of the ugly wall stuck up a number of years ago to block off the tunnel. A rather more elegant park visitor area will replace the wall, which was given a temporary refresh by Elph before demolition.

We’ve been busy working on the review of the World Heritage Site’s Management Plan. This is the document that helps guide all those involved in the management of the World Heritage Site towards protecting its outstanding universal value – be it through the repair of buildings, the planning system, learning and education, interpretation, supporting the community and vibrant businesses and so on. The first workshop was held on the 16 February and a wider consultation will follow once we have something down on paper.

The same process is underway on Calton Hill, and a workshop was held with the City of Edinburgh Council and as many people and groups with an interest in the hill’s future as we could muster. The hill’s buildings were opened up and used for the workshop, which came forward with a great number of ideas and notions that can be built into a vision for the hill, around which its management can be based. The first steps, though are quite straight forward: somewhere for a coffee and lavatories.

At a UK level, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has responded to its own consultation on 'Identifying, Protecting and Promoting Our World Heritage'.

On the question of the planning system, the document avoids the difficult question of how to make the outstanding universal value of World Heritage Sites relevant to the UK’s system of heritage protection. This is something that we have been working hard on – and to good effect – in Edinburgh. Overall the document is more a very brief summary of the existing situation than a useful examination of policies and mechanisms for 'Identifying, Protecting and Promoting Our World Heritage'.

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