Blaenavon Industrial Landscape featured in new UNESCO map

Posted on:26/07/2023

Blaenavon's industrial heritage has been included in a new interactive map celebrating UNESCO sites across the UK, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

From expansive mountain ranges and stunning coastlines to vibrant cities and rural landscapes - the UK's UNESCO sites are destinations of world-class natural and cultural heritage.

The new map, released online this week, includes 29 World Heritage Sites, 13 Creative Cities, 9 Global Geoparks and 7 Biosphere Reserves that cover 13 per cent of the UK’s landmass.

The map, designed by creative cartographer Tom Woolley, highlights the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape as "a testament to human endeavour and shaped by two centuries of coal mining and iron making", alongside other locations including the spectacular vistas of the slate landscape of Northwest Wales and the Scottish Highlands, the literary heritage of Manchester and Edinburgh and the mountains of the English Lake District or the peaks of Fforest Fawr.

Visitors are invited to click and find out more about key attractions within the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, including Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon Ironworks and Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway, as well as Blaenavon Heritage Town.

James Bridge, Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, said: “This new UNESCO in the UK map will inspire people for places to visit. It shows at a glance the breadth of amazing natural, cultural and built heritage designated by UNESCO as internationally significant in the UK. This great map highlights places to explore, on your doorstep and further afield, both the famous and those to discover for the first time.”

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said: “I’m immensely proud that Wales is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This new map beautifully illustrates our world class destinations, and as we continue to protect these sites, their significance will be enjoyed by generations to come. Wales is an open and welcoming nation, one that invites the world to discover our natural wonders, culture and heritage which UNESCO sites have to offer.”

Councillor Joanne Gauden, Torfaen Council Executive Member for Economy, Skills and Regeneration, said: “We are delighted that Blaenavon Industrial Landscape is one of the 29 World Heritage Sites featured on this new map.

"I encourage people to visit and enjoy all that this fantastic place offers, from the wonderful, awe-inspiring landscape to the brilliant attractions, sites and activities available which tell and showcase the dynamic, social and industrial history of South Wales.”

The map was produced by the UK National Commission for UNESCO as part of its Local to Global project, made possible with the GREAT Campaign and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players. Local to Global aims to develop a resilient network for UNESCO Designated Sites in the UK.

You can download the map from the UNESCO website.