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ICOMOS-UK promotes appreciation and understanding of our cultural heritage in the UK and worldwide.  Our focus is on policy and practice, information and opportunities.  Join us and support the only international multi-disciplinary professional conservation body.

ICOMOS-UK is the UK National Committee of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites).  At an international level, ICOMOS develops best practice in the conservation and management of cultural sites, and has a special role as adviser to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee  on cultural World Heritage sites.  Active in over 130 countries, it is one of the most highly regarded conservation organisations in the world.

Its wide-ranging International Scientific Committees are active in developing new thinking and practice about how to conserve, manage and promote cultural heritage across the world. ICOMOS-UK is an independent charity, set up in 1965.

We have an active membership of individuals and institutions, who come from a wide range of backgrounds in the UK and worldwide including:

  • architecture
  • engineering
  • planning
  • landscape design
  • heritage and museums, including UK World Heritage Sites
  • archaeology
  • conservation
  • universities and colleges

Stonehenge Proposed Tunnel discussed at 2017 UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Poland

At the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland, held earlier this month, the Committee considered a State of Conservation report for Stonehenge and approved a series of recommendations for the proposed tunnel project based on the outcomes of two Expert Advisory Missions. The full report can be read here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/soc/3652

ICOMOS-UK notes that the State of Conservation report indicates clearly that the UK is far from yet having a viable and acceptable road improvement scheme which sustains the OUV of the Stonehenge & Avebury WHS.

The report concluded the 2.9km tunnel schemes put out for Public Consultation would have a potential adverse impact on the Stonehenge landscape from the 2.2km of four lane approach roads in cuttings within the property at either ends of the tunnel, and could fundamentally compromise the property’s OUV.

It stated that sufficient priority had not been afforded to the OUV of the property and it could not be suggested that the benefits from a 2.9km tunnel to the centre of the property could offset significant damage from lengths of four lane approach roads in cuttings elsewhere in the property.

Amongst other recommendations, the Committee urged the State Party to explore further options, including the F10 non-tunnel by-pass option to the south of the property, and longer tunnels to remove dual carriageway cuttings from the property. It also asked the State Party to establish a new ‘consultative’ process with a wide range of stakeholders.

ICOMOS-UK considers that sustaining the OUV of this important and iconic site is paramount whatever proposals are brought forward. We welcome the Committee’s recommendation to establish a new ‘consultative’ process with a wide range of stakeholders and would be ready and willing to engage with this process utilising the expertise of its specialist World Heritage Committee. 


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Support ICOMOS-UK as a Custodian, Benefactor or Friend

We are seeking supporters with the aim of expanding our assistance and influence in the UK Heritage Sector and continuing to represent the UK as a leading promoter of cultural heritage ideas and practices at the International level.

Increasingly cultural heritage is seen as an essential dimension of our lives and an important contributor to sustainable development. The promotion of cultural heritage is now no longer just a single discipline or related to discrete sites, but a crucial facet of many other disciplines and part of most urban and rural landscapes.

In order to develop the new opportunities by mainstreaming cultural heritage, we need to expand the range of our activities, form links with universities and other institutions, and expand our membership to work on this wider canvas.

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