UKH

Welsh Slate to be Nominated for World Heritage Status

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.

The Rainbow Area of the Dinorwig Slate Quarries., 237 kb
The Rainbow Area of the Dinorwig Slate Quarries.
© Alan James

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."

Industrial remains in the Dinorwig Slate Quarries., 212 kb
Industrial remains in the Dinorwig Slate Quarries.
© Mark Reeves

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.

Fun and games in the Dinorwig Slate Quarries., 157 kb
Fun and games in the Dinorwig Slate Quarries.
© Mark Reeves

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.

Wes Hunter teetering up Poetry Pink on the Rainbow Slab., 107 kb
Wes Hunter teetering up Poetry Pink on the Rainbow Slab.
© Mark Reeves



Forums 23 comments

My feelings on the Welsh quarries have always been divided. From afar they look pretty hideous, and have partially eaten away mountains and hills (Manod Mawr N Top nearly went entirely:...
I'm not try to be belligerent, I'm just trying to understand why people would like these monumental spoil heaps to be preserved (note - I'm not referring to the rock faces within the quarries, although I'm not sure they...
Thanks for the link. I am very interested in this, as this is where I run at lunch time. It has the potential to be something really quite special, being so close to a large city centre and to Kelham Island.
I've just completed a consultation form on the redevelopment plans for Parkwood Springs in Sheffield. (here's the link if anyone is interested, and very interesting it is...
It seems rather a shame to me that the key determinant of whether something is worth preserving becomes how aesthetically pleasing it is. Personally I think they're one of the most uniquely interesting aspects of the...
I think so, but it sounds internal and isn't immediately identifiable as to where its coming from, I suspect its something to do with the flow of water underground but I'm sure someone else will be along to tell us.

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