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Lake District becomes World Heritage site

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The Lake District has become a World Heritage Site joining iconic locations such as the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon as a place of international acclaim.

The announcement was made today in Krakow. The bid for UNESCO recognition in the cultural landscape category was put together by 25 organisations in the Lake District National Park Partnership, who say they are "jubilant" at the news.

Chairman of the Partnership, Lord Clark of Windermere, says the prestigious status will bring great benefits for locals, visitors, tourism, businesses and farming:

It is this exceptional blend which makes our Lake District so spectacularly unique and we are delighted UNESCO has agreed. A great many people have come together to make this happen and we believe the decision will have long and lasting benefits for the spectacular Lake District landscape, the 18million visitors we welcome every year and for the people who call the National Park their home.

– Lord Clark

The Lake District now joins just over 1,000 World Heritage Sites worldwide.

Three key themes underpinned the bid for World Heritage Site status, recognising the Lake District National Park as a cultural landscape of international significance. These include world ranking examples of identity - the dramatic farmed landscape; inspiration - art, literature and love of the place.

Lake District National Park Chief Executive, Richard Leafe, said there was great excitement over the achievement:

The Lake District is an evolving landscape that has changed over time and will continue to do so. Improving landscape biodiversity and looking after our cultural heritage underpin the Partnership’s management plan which sets out how, together, we will look after the National Park as a World Heritage Site for everyone to enjoy.

– Richard Leafe