Over the past centuries much of our built heritage has been irretrievably lost. At the 1972 World Heritage Convention the international community committed itself to preventing further loss of our valued heritage assets and today there are over 700 sites in over 120 countries inscribed upon the World Heritage list. Each site is of universal value and constitutes an intrinsic part of our universal civilisation. Each site if endangered or destroyed would be an irreplaceable loss.
The whole city of Bath has been a World Heritage Site since 1987, recognised as a place of outstanding universal value for its architecture, town-planning, surrounding green landscape, archaeological remains and its role as a setting for social history. The history of the city extends over 6 millennia, from its earliest days when the Hot Springs were a place of worship for the Britons to the modern day when Bath is an international icon of architecture and archaeology within a thriving local community (City of Bath World Heritage Site Management Plan).
The future of our heritage largely depends on the actions of the present generation. Local and national organisations, residents and visitors to Bath have a responsibility to understand and recognise what is important about our World Heritage Site and just how special and worthy of protection Bath really is!
World Heritage Site Management Plans are seen as an effective way of caring for sites. The World Heritage Site Steering Group, a partnership committee of local and national organisations including English Heritage, B&NES Council, and the Bath Preservation Trust oversaw the preparation of the Bath Management Plan. The Steering Group continues to meet a number of times a year.
The World Heritage Site Management Plan covers a range of topics including conservation, planning, education, transport, community life and tourism. The Bath Preservation Trust has a commitment to overseeing the effective implementation of the aims and objectives of the management plan and ensuring that the state of the conservation and management of the site is effectively measured and monitored by the World Heritage Site Manager. The management plan is supported by the World Heritage Site Setting SPD which serves to protect the important green landscape setting of the city.
The World Heritage Site Enhancement Fund,which is administered by the Trust in conjunction with a committee, gives small grants for public realm improvement projects such as repairs to traditional street signs and ironwork.
You can explore the harmonious architectural beauty of Bath on foot by following the WHS Enhancement Fund City Trail, which is free to download onto your phone.