The Jurassic Coast is unique in the UK family of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Not only is it England’s only natural World Heritage site, it also covers 95 miles of beautiful coastline and boasts a richness unparalleled in the country of fossils and other geological features. How do you protect, conserve and present a site of this size and nature for present and future generations?
The Jurassic Coast Trust, the independent charity wholly responsible for the site, sees it as a joint endeavour. The Trust’s Learning Framework states ‘At the heart of our work is a belief that the Jurassic Coast is ultimately best looked after by the people who visit it, use it and love it. Therefore, our focus is always as much upon the people and communities of our World Heritage Site as it is upon the rocks, landscapes and fossils.’
This belief is embedded in the site’s partnership plan which outlines a clear set of responsible, inclusive and sustainable goals and objectives, particularly influenced by Articles 4, 5 and 27 of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.113 These articles encourage the site to make it their ‘duty’ to protect, preserve and present its heritage (Article 4), to ‘strengthen the appreciation and respect by the people towards the Jurassic Coast’ (Article 27), to have ‘a function in the life of the community and to integrate the protection of that heritage into comprehensive planning programmes’ (Article 5).
“What we’re really proud of, and we do this a lot, we are constantly talking about our global position in this World Heritage family because I think that’s one of the key inspirational aspects of the work that we do. That we are part of this huge global family of World Heritage Sites that celebrate these outstanding features, natural or cultural; it is a very powerful concept that these values transcend national and political boundaries. I think building these ideas into the content that we do just adds a different facet to our work. It actually lifts it and it puts it into a completely different arena from other protected landscapes like national parks or AONBs.” Anjana Khatwa, Programme Manager, Learning at the Jurassic Coast Trust
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