THE SLATE EFFECT; Our Quarrying's Closer to World Heritage Status
Byline: HYWEL TREWYN
Slate at Ffestiniog Quarry GWYNEDD'S slate mines have taken a giant step towards joining the Taj Mahal and Great Wall of China among the world's most iconic landmarks.
Ministers announced yesterday that the "Slate Industry of North Wales" is one of 11 bids across the UK on the next list of recommended World Heritage sites. It would join two other titled areas in Wales - Edward I's castles and town walls and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, near Llangollen.
The slate mines bid will go with others such as England's Lake District, Jodrell Bank Observatory, and The Forth Bridge, Scotland to be considered by Unesco.
The slate bid is the lone Welsh hope on the shortlist: Merthyr Tydfil and Welsh/English bids Offa's Dyke and Wye Valley/Forest of Dean failed to win through.
World Heritage Sites are chosen for outstanding universal value to culture, history or science.
Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose said: "The 11 places that make up the new UK Tentative List are fantastic examples of our cultural and natural heritage: I believe they have every chance to be World Heritage Sites.
The slate bid includes the Ogwen-Cegin valleys - Penrhyn quarry, Port Penrhyn and Penrhyn Castle rail system;Welsh Slate Museum, Dinorwic and landscape of Nantlle/Moel Tryfan; Blaenau Ffestiniog and early hydro-power station and railway; Gorsedda quarry, tramway and worker settlement and the main university building at Bangor, reflecting the quarrymen''s financial contribution and zeal for education. …