Ironbridge Gorge Museums mark World Heritage Day

Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge Museums will celebrate international World Heritage Day today.

Set within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in Telford, visitors to the museums on Tuesday, 18th April can join in a range of family fun activities as their Easter holiday programme continues.

At Enginuity you can meet a number of mini-beasts at the Exotic Zoo where there will be daily shows with snakes, spiders and other exotic creatures.

At Blists Hill Victorian Town the animal theme continues as visitors are able to see some farmyard favourites including pigs, sheep and baby chicks. The highlight will be the heavy horses on display with harnessing and tail plaiting demonstrations.

For those with a creative side there are plenty of craft activities available at Coalport China Museum and Jackfield Tile Museum.

The Ironbridge Gorge was one of the first in the UK to be designated as a World Heritage Site back in 1986. UNESCO recognised the area’s unique contribution to the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. It was the achievements of pioneering industrialists including Abraham Darby, William Reynolds and John Wilkinson that led to the Ironbridge Gorge becoming the most technologically advanced area in the world by the close of the 18th century

The surviving built and natural environment with its museums, monuments and artefacts, including the world famous Iron Bridge, serve to remind us of this area’s unique contribution to the history and development of industrialised society.

For many years UNESCO has been working with countries across the world to identify World Heritage Sites and ensure their safe keeping and protection for future generations. They are selected because of their ‘Outstanding Universal Value’ as natural or cultural sites. They enrich our lives and illustrate the diversity of the planet and its inhabitants. They are ours to share, cherish and respect, and their disappearance would be an irreparable loss to humanity.

Included on the World Heritage list are many well-known sites including the Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Great Barrier Reef. Within the UK, there are 30 World Heritage Sites including Stonehenge, Durham Castle and Cathedral, the City of Bath, New Lanark and the Giants Causeway.

World Heritage Day, on 18th April, offers an opportunity to raise people’s awareness about the diversity of cultural and natural heritage we have in the UK and across the world, and the efforts that are required to look after it.