The UK Government has announced plans to nominate North Wales' slate quarries as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Included in the bid are key sites that define Welsh slate: the Ogwen Valley quarries, Dinorwig, Nantlle, Blaenau Ffestiniog, the quarries in Cwm Pennant; and in the south of Snowdonia, Bryneglwys, Abergynolwyn a Rheilffordd Talyllyn and Chwarel Aberllefenni.
Each year the UK can put forward one site for consideration, and yesterday heritage minister Michael Ellis made the case for the industrial and cultural heritage of Gwynedd's gargantuan 19th Century slate quarries:
"Gwynedd's slate landscape is hugely important," he said. "Its vast quarries and mines have not only shaped the countryside of the region but also countless buildings across the UK and the world.
"This is a crucial milestone on the road to becoming a world heritage site and the global recognition that brings. While the Unesco nomination process is very thorough, I believe this unique landscape would be a worthy addition to the list."
Gwynedd Council have a website with more details of the bid, Llechi Cymru
If accepted by UNESCO, a decision that will be made in 2021, the slate quarries will become the fourth World Heritage Site in Wales and one of only 32 in Britain as a whole.
What this may mean for climbers and walkers is unclear, but it certainly seems likely that businesses and local government would seek to capitalise on World Heritage status to bring in more visitors.
In the meantime [plug alert] if you want to enjoy the quarries in their present state, loved by (some) climbers but generally neglected by the rest of the world, the new Rockfax North Wales Slate is out now.