2021 signifies a ‘giant’ milestone at the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast – the 35th anniversary of the site’s inscription onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. This iconic site has been an international visitor attraction for 100s of years, shaping the stories of our landscapes and communities for generations.
The Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast, a 3km stretch of the North Antrim coastline, was one of the first seven UK sites added to the World Heritage List in November 1986 and remains Northern Ireland’s only world heritage site. This stunning coastline, taking in terrestrial and marine areas, boasts distinctive geological features, such as the globally famous causeway stones and dramatic cliff faces, which combine to create a spectacle of exceptional natural beauty which has shaped our understanding of Earth’s geological history.
A World Heritage Site is any area, property or object globally which has been inscribed onto the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Such Sites are designated as having ‘outstanding universal value’ for all humanity; World Heritage provides an international framework for the preservation, protection and promotion of these precious global assets.
The Giant’s Causeway is a natural World Heritage Site and was inscribed due to the area’s outstanding geology and geomorphology, contribution to the history of scientific study and its landscape value. These unique qualities make the Giant’s Causeway rare even among World Heritage Sites – it falls within just 2% of Sites (25 out of 1100+) which are designated under World Heritage criteria VII and VIII.
A Steering Group brings together a range of stakeholders, including the National Trust (who offer a world class visitor experience at the Site), Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, landowners and elected representatives, to guide the Causeway’s broader management. The Steering Group continues to work together to protect, manage, and ensure the integrity of this phenomenal natural landscape in line with UNESCO’s requirements, safeguarding its status and future.
From 2021, a new Management and Action Plan will shape effective conservation management at this world-renowned spot, one of the most famous places on the island of Ireland and the region’s premier tourist attraction. Visit ccght.org/resources to download your free copy of the Plans.