Roman heritage boosts tourism

romansThe northern frontiers of the Roman Empire in England, Scotland and Germany have been the focus of a three-day conference hosted by Historic Scotland.

The Frontiers of the Roman Empire (FRE) World Heritage Site currently consists of Hadrian’s Wall in England, the Upper German Raetian Limes and the Antonine Wall in Scotland.

The puprose of the meeting was to share experience and practice of managing a World Heritage Site, unique in being the first trans-national site, which enriches and links the three countries

High on the agenda was the development of tourism opportunities where the Borders region from the Roman Wall in Northumberland to the Antonine Wall in Scotland has a strong Roman card to play.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Cultural and External Affairs said: “Being part of a trans-national site provides an excellent opportunity for Scotland to work with people in other countries, to share information and to promote Scotland on a global scale.

“The practical contribution of World Heritage Sites to Scotland and its future should not be underestimated.  Tourism makes an important contribution to our economy and the cultural and natural heritage of our nation is an extremely important element in encouraging visitors.

“World Heritage Site status is a high accolade that should be celebrated.  By protecting and conserving these sites we are securing their long-term future and allowing appreciation of their cultural and natural value.”

The Cabinet Secretary (left) met officials during a reception at Edinburgh Castle on Thursday 22nd September along with pupils from Glendale Primary School and Bellahouston Academy, both Glasgow-based, who presented the results and experiences of their recent projects along the Antonine Wall.

World Heritage Sites (WHS) are cultural and natural sites considered to be of “outstanding universal value” which have been inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee.

The UK currently has 28 World Heritage Sites. There are 5 sites in Scotland: the Heart of Neolithic Orkney; the Antonine Wall; the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; New Lanark and St Kilda.

In 2005 the Upper German Raetian Limes joined Hadrian’s Wall on the World Heritage List and the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site was born. In July 2008 the Antonine Wall became the third site to join the FRE.

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