Lake District awarded World Heritage Status

The Lake District has joined the likes of the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu by being awarded Unesco World Heritage status.

The national park was one of 33 sites around the world to be discussed by the Unesco committee in Krakow, Poland.

The committee praised the area's beauty, farming and the inspiration it had provided to artists and writers.

It is the 31st place in the UK and overseas territories to be put on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Lord Clark of Windermere, chairman of the Lake District National Park Partnership which put together the bid, described the decision as "momentous".

"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 visitors we welcome every year and for the people who call the National Park their home," he added.

Steve Ratcliffe, director of sustainable development at the Lake District National Park, said the application had been a "long time in the making" and he was "incredibly proud" of the landscape which has been shaped by nature, farming and industry.

He told the committee: "The Lake District now becomes an international and global property and we look forward to working with you and our communities to make sure this site inspires future generations around the world."
Image caption Steve Ratcliffe said it "has taken millennia to become the evolving masterpiece it is today"

About 18 million people visit the Lake District each year, spending a total of £1.2bn and providing about 18,000 jobs.

It is home to England's largest natural lake - Windermere - and highest mountain - Scafell Pike.

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