The list of applications for the UK’s new Tentative List of sites for World Heritage status has been published. A fascinating list of 38, many of which are entirely worthy we’d have thought. What a treasure house Britain is!

A couple of things struck us though. First, apart from Creswell Crags (hooray!) prehistoric monuments and landscapes have been given short shrift, as usual. When will the fact Britain is uniquely blessed and world famous on account of it’s unique and amazingly complete prehistoric heritage be properly recognised by government?

Second, in introducing the list John Penrose the Tourism and Heritage Minister said:

“…what all 38 sites have in common is a wow factor and a cultural resonance that makes them real contenders to sit alongside The Pyramids and Red Square in this most distinguished of gatherings.”

Very true John. In which case, where is Thornborough, which few would deny has a wow factor far in excess of most of the others on that or any other list as anyone that has seen it will confirm. What’s more, it’s the most important prehistoric monument (according to English Heritage) between Stonehenge and the Orkneys – which pretty much means “in Europe” or even “the world” ???

Could it possibly be guilt on behalf of both Yorkshire County Council (who have used every trick in the book to allow Tarmac plc to progressively wreck it’s landscape over a period of years) and those protection agencies that helped the process along? Could the government be simply too wretchedly ashamed to have UNESCO inspectors visit the Henges and see what it has allowed it’s gravel greedy pals to do? Especially as it is just about to say that there’ll be no road building for the next zillion years and the demand for more gravel will be approximately zero ??

We think so…