Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
Fountains Abbey
& Studley Royal
World Heritage Site
Management Plan
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
Contents   Foreword
           Vision                                                                                   9

           Chapter 1	World Heritage Site status and Statement 			                                  11
                      of Outstanding Universal Value
           Chapter 2                 Managing the World Heritage Site                               19
           Chapter 3                 Current issues affecting the World Heritage Site              23
           Chapter 4                 Themes, objectives and actions                                29
           Chapter 5                 Action plan                                                   54
           Chapter 6                 Implementation and monitoring		                               63

           Map 1                     World Heritage Site boundary 		                               64
           Map 2                     Buffer zone                                                   65

           Appendix 1                Facts and figures about the World Heritage Site               69
           Appendix 2                A short history of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal          70
           Appendix 3                Planning and policy framework for the World Heritage Site     73
           Appendix 4                List of World Heritage Site stakeholders                       77
           Appendix 5                Outcomes of public consultation                               79
           Appendix 6                Evaluation of delivery of objectives and actions 		           96
                                     in WHS Management Plan 2009-2014
           Appendix 7                English Heritage and National Trust Conservation Principles   101
           Appendix 8                Conservation Action Plan 2015-2021                            102
           Appendix 9                Geodiversity Audit                                            127
           Appendix 10               Landscape Character Assessments                               135

Contents   World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                           3
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust

                                  It is an honour and a privilege to be asked       His son William inherited in 1742 when            Long-term planning and evaluation of
                                  to write the foreword to the Studley Royal        the garden was complete and was another           the management plan is key to the future
                                  and Fountains Abbey World Heritage Site           visionary, continuing the work started by         of this and every World Heritage Site,
                                  Management Plan. The development of               his father. He extended the garden further        and partnership is the crucial element
                                  the City of Ripon and Fountains Abbey             north down the Skell valley, and bought           in that plan. Without partners no single
                                  share the common inheritance left by John         the Fountains estate in 1767 to ensure the        organisation can bring the necessary
                                  and William Aislabie. Both were members           backdrop of the ruined abbey became part          expertise and experience into play to
                                  of parliament for Ripon, sitting between          of the water garden. He ‘improved’ the            ensure the sustainability of a World
                                  them for a total of more than 60 years            ruins and created more vistas across the          Heritage Site. The National Trust at
                                  throughout much of the 18th century.              estate, and connected his ‘natural’ garden        Fountains has worked in partnership
                                  John had Nicholas Hawksmoor erect the             at Hackfall a few miles away with a carriage      over a number of years especially with
                                  country’s tallest freestanding obelisk in         drive to Studley Royal. The combined              English Heritage and Natural England,
                                  Ripon Market Place in 1702 and he began           estate remained in private hands until 1966       and has realised the importance of
                                  the water garden in 1716. Better known as         when purchased by West Riding County              connecting across cultural and natural
                                  Fountains Abbey, the World Heritage Site          Council and has been managed by the               heritage interests. Better understanding
Written by Mick Stanley,          is inscribed as a masterpiece of human            National Trust since 1983 and designated          of those links adds significantly to the
Right Worshipful Mayor of Ripon   genius and an outstanding designed                a World Heritage Site in 1986.                    way that heritage is conserved, presented
                                  landscape. The genius was John Aislabie                                                             and promoted to the public as a World
                                  who in the second decade of the 18th              I first visited this special place in the early   Heritage Site — “Your local place for
                                  century had the vision to transform the           1990s, and since moving to Ripon in 2000          everyone in the world”.
                                  deep post-glacial valley of the River Skell       have been a regular walker down the
                                  into the superb water gardens that we             Spanish chestnut lined avenue back to
                                  see today.                                        Ripon, one of the best walks in Yorkshire.
                                                                                    The natural setting, the underlying geology
                                                                                    and the ‘S’ shaped topography of the Skell
                                                                                    valley were critical in the development
                                                                                    of the water garden, helping to describe
                                                                                    where the ponds, canals and follies were
                                                                                    located and providing vistas at every
                                                                                    turn in the valley.

4                                 World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Foreword
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
The Moon Pond and the Temple of Piety

                                        Foreword   World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   5
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
The Surprise View of the abbey
                                                                     from the water garden

6   World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Introduction
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust

About the World                                The name of the site on the World
                                               Heritage List is ‘Studley Royal Park
                                                                                              importance in their own right, being
                                                                                              one of the few Cistercian houses to
                                                                                                                                                Some enjoy the peace and tranquillity
                                                                                                                                                of the site, while others are inspired by
Heritage Site                                  including the ruins of Fountains Abbey’,       survive from the 12th century. There              its history or wish to enjoy its rich diversity
                                               rather than the name the site is usually       are also Fountains Hall, St Mary’s Church,        of wildlife. Managing the site as a popular
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal World        known by, ‘Fountains Abbey and Studley         Fountains Mill and the deer park. Together        visitor attraction whilst still protecting
Heritage Site is special for its spectacular   Royal’. The site was inscribed as a WHS        these buildings and landscapes combine            and enhancing the WHS is a complex
18th century landscape and water garden,       by UNESCO as ‘a masterpiece of human           to make a harmonious whole which                  and challenging task.
integrating the ruins of Fountains Abbey.      creative genius’ which is one of the ten       UNESCO considers to be ‘an outstanding
It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site      WHS selection criteria. Studley Royal is       example of a type of building, architectural
(WHS) in 1986 as ‘Studley Royal Park           considered an outstanding example of the       or technological ensemble which illustrates         Further information about
including the ruins of Fountains Abbey’.       ‘English’ garden style. The early parts of     significant stages in human history’,               the site is included in:
The site is 822 acres (333 hectares), lies a   the garden created by John Aislabie from       another of the ten WHS criteria.
few miles west of the city of Ripon in North   1718 are influenced by earlier formal French                                                       Appendix 1 — Facts and figures about
Yorkshire and sits within the Borough of       and Dutch geometric designs though             The National Trust has owned the estate             the World Heritage Site
Harrogate and the Nidderdale Area of           moving in a more naturalistic, English,        since 1983 and manages the WHS in
Outstanding Natural Beauty.                    direction. Instead of imposing a design        partnership with Historic England and the           Appendix 2 — A short history of
                                               upon nature, this style worked in harmony      English Heritage Trust. The National Trust          Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
The 18th century water garden,                 with it. Later in the 18th century this        has around 68 regular staff, 20 seasonal
incorporating some of the largest                                                             staff and over 400 volunteers that work             Map 1 — World Heritage Site
                                               move towards a more natural approach
Cistercian abbey ruins in Europe, shares       progressed further. William Aislabie, John’s   in a range of roles at Fountains Abbey
the landscape with a deer park, Jacobean       son, further developed the garden while        and Studley Royal.
mansion and a magnificent Victorian            maintaining much of his father’s earlier
church designed by William Burges.                                                            Today the WHS welcomes approximately
                                               designs at its core. Studley Royal therefore   350,000 visitors every year from the local
To be inscribed as a WHS, a place must         demonstrates the evolving garden tastes        area and further afield. It is one of the
not only demonstrate ‘outstanding              of the 18th century in one landscape.          most visited places owned by the National
universal value’, it must also fit at least    There are other significant buildings and      Trust and one of the most popular tourism
one of ten criteria established by the         landscapes on the site which contribute        attractions in Yorkshire. There are many
United Nations Educational, Scientific         towards the WHS status. The abbey ruins        reasons why people choose to visit
and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).            are not only a key eye-catcher in the 18th     Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.
                                               century garden but also of international

                                               Introduction                                   World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                                 7
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
Map 1                    Location in North Yorkshire                               About the plan                                 The WHS Management Plan for Fountains
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Abbey and Studley Royal was first
                                                                                                     and Landscape Setting
    Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
    WHS Management Plan

                                                                                                                                                               This is the management plan for the            published in 2001. This plan is the second
                                                                                                                                                               Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal              review and will run for six years from 2015
                                                                                                                                                               World Heritage Site. It is a plan for          to 2021. It builds upon the objectives
                                                                                                                                                               all those with an interest in, and             and actions in the earlier plans. The
                                                                                                                                                               responsibility for, managing the WHS.          plan also includes the new Statement
COUNTY OF                                                                                                                                                      The UNESCO Operational Guidelines for          of Outstanding Universal Value (SOUV)
                                                                                                                                                               the Implementation of the World Heritage       defining the site’s significance which was
NORTH YORKSHIRE                                                                                                                                                Convention state that ‘each nominated          approved by the UNESCO World Heritage
                                                                                                                                                               property should have an appropriate            Committee in 2012. The successful delivery
                                                                                                                                                                                                              of the plan relies on all partners working

                                                                                                                                                               management plan or other documented

                                                                                                                                                               management system which must specify           together to achieve the management
                  CUMBRIA                                               DURHAM                                                                                 how the outstanding universal value            objectives and actions.
                                                                                    Darlington        Middlesbrough
                                                                                                                                                               (OUV) of a property should be preserved,
                                                                                                                                                               preferably through participatory means’.
                                                        Richmond                                                                                               UK Government policy aims to ensure
                                                                                                                                                               a management plan is in place for all
                                                                A6108                                              A170
                                                                                                                                   Scarborough                 UK WHSs.
                           Hawes                           Leyburn          A1(M)

                                                                                                                                                               The main purpose of the plan is therefore
                                                                                                         Helmsley            Pickering

                                                                                                                                                               to sustain the OUV of the WHS to ensure
                                                                                                                                                               it can be passed on for future generations
                                                  Pateley                                      A19

                                                  Bridge                                                                  Malton

                                                                                                                                                               to enjoy. The plan:
                                                                            Studley Royal Park &
                                                                            Ruins of Fountains Abbey

                                        B6160                               A61                                A64

                                                                                                                                                               — sets out what is special about Fountains
                            Skipton                            Harrogate
                                                                                                                             EAST                                 Abbey and Studley Royal WHS, including
                                                                                                                           YORKSHIRE                              a full description of the OUV of the site
LANCASHIRE                                      A627
                                                                            A61                A64

                                                                                                                                                               — identifies key issues affecting the WHS

                             M62                                                    A1(M)
                                                                                                          Selby                                                — sets out a long-term vision, objectives
                                                                                                                                                                  and action plan for the WHS to ensure

                                                                                                                                                                  the maintenance of its OUV for present
                                          YORKSHIRE                                                   A1(M)
                                                                                                      NOTTINGHAM                                                  and future generations
          Yorkshire Dales National Park

          Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

          Pennine Dale Fringe

          Southern Magnesian Limestone

          District/Unity Authority Boundary
                                                                                                                                                 August 2009

8                                                                                                  World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021             Introduction
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
Vision for the                                                                                                                                The abbey cellarium
                                                   Our vision, is to build on this work
World Heritage Site                                and to ensure the WHS will be:

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal World            — conserved and enhanced for future
Heritage Site is a special place, loved for           generations to enjoy, the genius
generations. It is a place of calm reflection,        of the place will be captured and
of delight and exploration, for those who             celebrated through delivery of our
come to discover it now and in the future.            conservation work
Taking the 18th century pleasure gardens
as its core and inspiration, the WHS               — a place which is accessible to all,
possesses many layers of an extraordinary             brought to life for everyone to
history that have shaped the abbey, the               understand and enjoy
parkland, the rural setting and extended
                                                   — a place cherished by the local
further afield to other landscapes.
                                                      community and wider communities
The designed landscape was inscribed                  of interest and an iconic symbol
as a WHS in 1986 and since that time                  of Yorkshire
the National Trust and its partners have
                                                   — a place where sustainable
undertaken an ambitious programme of
                                                      management sits at the heart
conservation work to restore the gardens
                                                      of all we do
to their former splendour, ensuring the
outstanding universal value (OUV) of the           — an exemplary WHS which aims
WHS is sustained for future generations               to make a significant contribution
to enjoy. At the same time, facilities for            to the purposes and functions
visitors such as the Visitor Centre and               of UNESCO
Porter’s Lodge interpretation centre have
been developed as part of our mission
to present and communicate the OUV
of the site to as many people as possible.

                                                 Introduction                               World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                         9
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
The Cascade, Studley Lake and the Tabernacles, by Balthazar Nebot, 1750s

10                                                           World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 1
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal - World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2021 - National Trust
Chapter 1: World Heritage
Site status and Statement of
Outstanding Universal Value

This chapter sets out what                     There are currently 1031 World Heritage
is special about the Fountains                 Sites spread across 163 countries (in
                                               August 2015) reflecting the rich diversity
Abbey and Studley Royal                        of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
World Heritage Site.                           Their position on the World Heritage List
                                               ensures that they will remain a part of our
                                               global heritage for generations to come. It
1.1 What is a World                            is important to ensure that World Heritage
Heritage Site?                                 Sites contribute toward UNESCO’s overall
                                               goals of peace, security and sustainable
World Heritage Sites are prime examples of     development.
the world’s greatest cultural and/or natural
sites. They provide an irreplaceable source    ‘World Heritage is a building block for
of inspiration to everyone, irrespective       peace and sustainable development. It is
of where they are located. It is, therefore,   a source of identity and dignity for local
vitally important to protect them for          communities, a wellspring of knowledge
future generations. World Heritage Sites       and strength to be shared.’ Irina Bokava,
have a cultural or natural significance that   the Director-General of UNESCO
‘is so exceptional as to transcend national    This plan contributes to UNESCO purposes
boundaries and of importance for present       through its learning programme and
and future generations of all humanity.’       sharing of good practice on conservation
This concept, referred to as outstanding       management, its engagement with local
universal value, is set out in the World       communities and other wider communities
Heritage Convention of 1972.                   of interest and its efforts to promote
                                               sustainable management.

                                                                                                                                                 St Mary’s Church in the
                                                                                                                                                 Studley Royal Deer Park

                                               Chapter 1                                       World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                             11
1.2 Statement                             Studley Royal Park including the                  of the few Cistercian houses to survive
                                                                                            from the 12th century and providing an
                                                                                                                                            Fountains Abbey ruins: a key element
                                                                                                                                            in the garden scheme, providing the
                                          Ruins of Fountains Abbey, United
of Outstanding                            Kingdom of Great Britain and
                                                                                            unrivalled picture of a great religious house   spectacular culmination to the principal
                                                                                            in all its parts. The remainder of the estate   vista, but also of outstanding importance
Universal Value                           Northern Ireland                                  is no less significant. At the west end of      in their own right. It is one of the few
                                                                                            the estate is the transitional Elizabethan/     Cistercian houses surviving from the 12th
All World Heritage Sites have a           Brief Synthesis
                                                                                            Jacobean Fountains Hall, partially built        century and provides an unrivalled picture
Statement of Outstanding Universal
                                          Situated in North Yorkshire, the 18th             from reclaimed abbey stone and with its         of a great religious house in all its parts.
Value (SOUV) which sets out the
                                          century designed landscape of Studley             distinctive façade, it is an outstanding        Fountains Abbey, founded in 1132, soon
significance of the site, its integrity
                                          Royal water garden and pleasure grounds,          example of its period. Located in the           became one of the largest and richest
and authenticity and measures for
                                          including the ruins of Fountains Abbey,           extensive deer park is St Mary’s Church,        Cistercian abbeys in Britain, before being
its management and protection.
                                          is one harmonious whole of buildings,             a masterpiece of High Victorian Gothic          closed by Henry VIII in 1539 during the
The SOUV will guide the management
                                          gardens and landscapes. This landscape            architecture, designed by William Burges in     Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was
of the site for the foreseeable future.
                                          of exceptional merit and beauty represents        1871 and considered to be one of his finest     partially demolished soon after.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal’s
                                          over 800 years of human ambition, design          works.
SOUV was approved by the World                                                                                                              Jacobean Fountains Hall: an outstanding
Heritage Committee in 2012 and can        and achievement.
                                                                                            Key Components                                  example of a building of its period and
only be altered with their approval.      Studley Royal is one of the few great 18th                                                        partially built with stone from the Abbey.
There have already been some changes                                                        Studley Royal Park, including the ruins         It has a distinctive Elizabethan façade
                                          century gardens to survive substantially
to the planning and management                                                              of Fountains Abbey, combines into one           and is enhanced by a formal garden with
                                          in its original form and is one of the most
framework described in the SOUV                                                             harmonious whole buildings, gardens and         shaped hedges. The interior of the Hall
                                          spectacular water gardens in England.
and the amendments follow the                                                               landscapes constructed over a period            has been adapted for successive uses,
                                          The landscape garden is an outstanding
Statement below. In addition to the                                                         of 800 years. All, important in their           including a courthouse.
                                          example of the development of the
outstanding universal value there are                                                       own right, have been integrated into a
                                          ‘English’ garden style throughout the
a whole range of national, regional                                                         continuous landscape of exceptional merit       St. Mary’s Church: an outstanding
                                          18th century, which influenced the rest of
and local values which will inform                                                          and beauty. Its principal components are:       example of High Victorian Gothic
                                          Europe. With the integration of the River
how the site is managed. These are                                                                                                          architecture by one of its leading
                                          Skell into the water gardens and the use          Studley Royal: one of the few great
set out in Section 1.4.                                                                                                                     exponents, William Burges, in 1871, and
                                          of ‘borrowed’ vistas from the surrounding         18th century ‘green gardens’ to survive         considered to be one of his finest works.
                                          countryside, the design and layout of the         substantially in its original form, arguably    A building of importance in its own right,
                                          gardens is determined by the form of              the most spectacular water garden in            it has also been successfully integrated
                                          the natural landscape, rather than being          England. The landscape garden is an             into the landscape of the Park. The church
     The Surprise View, by A Walker       imposed upon it. The garden contains              outstanding example of the development          is one of a pair: its twin is Christ the
     after Balthazar Nebot, 1758          canals, ponds, cascades, lawns and hedges,        of the ‘English’ garden style throughout        Consoler at Skelton-on-Ure. They were
                                          with elegant garden buildings, gateways           the 18th century, which influenced the rest     both designed by Burges and built using
                                          and statues. The Aislabies’ vision survives       of Europe. The garden contains canals           the same craftsmen.
                                          substantially in its original form, most          and ponds, cascades, lawns and hedges,
                                          famously in the spectacular view of the           with elegant temples and statues used as
                                          ruins of Fountains Abbey itself.                  eye-catchers. The layout of the gardens
                                                                                            is determined by the form of the natural
                                          The abbey is not only a key eye-catcher in
                                                                                            landscape, rather than a design that is
                                          the garden scheme but is of outstanding
                                                                                            imposed upon it. The Aislabies’ design
                                          importance in its own right, being one
                                                                                            survives substantially in its original form.

12                                        World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 1
Integrity                                      Authenticity                                      There have been numerous conservation
                                                                                                                                                  interventions since inscription which
                                                 The Studley Royal Park was at its most         The property as a whole has high                  were necessary to ensure the outstanding
                                                 extensive under the ownership of William       authenticity in terms of form and design,         universal value of the property was
                                                 Aislabie in the latter part of the 18th        materials, function, location and setting of      maintained. Conservation works in the
                                                 century. It is one of the few great 18th       features of the great 18th century designed       garden, to the many garden buildings and
                                                 century gardens to survive substantially       landscape. However, in common with many           to the Abbey and other buildings have
                                                 in its original form. The landscape design     other cultural sites, particularly those that     adhered to good conservation practice
                                                 has been little altered by subsequent          develop in an organic way such as parks           and have been thoroughly researched
                                                 owners, who mainly respected and only          and gardens, both the fabric and design           and documented. Fountains Hall, Porter’s
                                                 modestly enhanced the original designs by      of the landscape at Studley Royal have            Lodge and the Cistercian Water Mill have
                                                 their additions. However, many landscape       been continually altered, first throughout        been sensitively reused to enhance visitor
                                                 features disappeared and the maintained        the period of inception (up to c. 1781) and       enjoyment of the site. The water garden
                                                 part of the gardens contracted due to lack     thereafter by a mixed process of maturity,        has been affected by climatic events, such
                                                 of maintenance. A number of decaying           modification, ageing and decline. Natural         as flooding, and pragmatic modifications,
                                                 buildings and landscape features from the      growth, impact of climatic events and             such as the use of modern engineering
  John Aislabie in the robes of the Chancellor   late 18th century were also removed and        development can have both positive and            technology, has enabled conservation
                                                 parts of the estate were sold into different   negative impacts on the landscape, as can         of the water garden design.
                                                 ownerships. Despite the changes to the         later design interventions and alterations
Criteria                                         estate, the attributes which express the       to its physical fabric.
                                                 outstanding universal value remain intact
Criterion (i): Studley Royal Park including      and are still evident today. The integrity
the ruins of Fountains Abbey owes its            and authenticity of the ruins of Fountains
originality and striking beauty to the fact      Abbey is high as is that of St Mary’s Church
that a humanised landscape was created           and Fountains Hall.
around the largest medieval ruins in the
United Kingdom. The use of these features,       The World Heritage Site boundary
combined with the planning of the water          largely follows the area in National Trust
garden itself, is a true masterpiece of          ownership rather than the extent of the
human creative genius.                           historic estate. Therefore some important
                                                 elements of the designed landscape lie
Criterion (iv): Combining the remains of         outside the World Heritage Site boundary
the richest (Cistercian) abbey in England,       and may be vulnerable to change. The
the Jacobean Fountains Hall, and Burges’         proposed buffer zone, arising out of the
miniature neo-Gothic masterpiece of St           Management Plan process, would protect
Mary’s, with the water gardens and deer          the integrity of the wider historic estate.
park into one harmonious whole, Studley
Royal Park including the ruins of Fountains
Abbey illustrates the power of medieval
monasticism, and the taste and wealth
of the European upper classes in the
18th century.                                                                                     Fountains Hall

                                                 Chapter 1                                      World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                            13
Protection and Management                    the World Heritage Site boundary, later           There are a range of statutory and non-       The World Heritage Site Management
Requirements (2012)                          land additions to the National Trust              statutory designations on the property.       Plan for Fountains Abbey and Studley
                                             estate hold significant historical features       Fifty four buildings and structures on        Royal was reviewed in 2009. A wide
The UK Government protects World             that had become isolated, including the           the site have been listed under the Listed    audience was involved in developing the
Heritage Sites in England in two ways.       Swanley Grange part of the monastic               Buildings and Conservation Areas Act          plan. The key priorities set out in the plan
Firstly individual buildings, monuments,     grange complex and How Hill, a scheduled          1990 as buildings of special architectural    include the restoration of the garden and
gardens and landscapes are designated        monument, which also contains one                 and historical interest. The abbey and its    parkland, production of a Conservation
under the Planning (Listed Buildings and     of John Aislabie’s earliest 18th century          surrounds are a scheduled monument.           Management Plan, protecting the setting
Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and the 1979    eye-catchers.                                     The whole site is Grade 1 on the English      of the World Heritage Site through a
Ancient Monuments and Archaeological                                                           Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens in     buffer zone, water management and
Areas Act and secondly through the           The estate is important for its recreational      England. The majority of the site also lies   adapting to climate change, promoting
UK spatial planning system under the         values and has an unusually long history          within the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding     sustainable management, improving
provisions of the Town and Country           of tourism, beginning in the 17th century.        Natural Beauty (AONB).                        environmental performance, engaging
Planning Act 1990.                           Each year over 300,000 people come to                                                           people and partnership working. Delivery
                                             the paying area and an estimated 150,000          Detailed protection of the site is also       of the World Heritage Site Management
National guidance on protecting the          people visit the deer park. Visitor income        provided by Harrogate Borough                 Plan is monitored by a Steering Group
Historic Environment (Planning Policy        generated on the estate is retained on            Council’s Local Development Framework.        which includes the National Trust, English
Statement 5) and World Heritage (Circular    site and used for conservation and access         A proposal arising out of the Management      Heritage, Harrogate Borough Council
07/09) and accompanying explanatory          projects. The National Trust monitors             Plan is being progressed to create a          and ICOMOS-UK. The Steering Group
guidance has been recently published         the number of visitors who come to the            buffer zone to protect the setting of the     also coordinates an annual stakeholder
by Government. Policies to protect,          estate and their physical impact on the           World Heritage Site. The buffer zone          event involving a wider range of partners,
promote, conserve and enhance World          landscape to inform access arrangements           was approved by the World Heritage            including Natural England, Nidderdale
Heritage Sites, their settings and buffer    and ensure the necessary protection of            Committee in July 2012. Additional            AONB, the Environment Agency, local
zones can be found in regional plans and     the site. Although damage is considered           non-statutory protection is afforded by       community groups and neighbouring
in local authority plans and frameworks.     to be relatively limited there are some           the Nidderdale AONB Management Plan,          landowners.
World Heritage status is a key material      areas of concern including the presence of        the Environment Agency’s Catchment
consideration when planning applications     vehicles in the deer park, the intrusive car      Flood Management Plans and Harrogate
are considered by the Local Planning         park at Studley Lake, wear and tear on the        Borough Council’s Sites of Importance
Authority. The Harrogate Borough Council     footpaths and damage to the lawns (after          for Nature Conservation designation.
Local Development Framework contains         excessive rainfall) caused by walking on the
policies to protect the property.            grass. The National Trust has developed           Protection of the estate’s artefacts and
                                             a Conservation for Access Toolkit                 chattels collection is currently provided
Since 1983, the Fountains Abbey and                                                            by various agencies. Other than the Trust,
                                             which measures the impact of visitors
Studley Royal estate has been owned                                                            the main repositories are English Heritage
                                             on the site and provides management
and managed by the National Trust in                                                           and North Yorkshire County Council.
                                             recommendations to protect the site
partnership with English Heritage. English
                                             in the future. The main visitor facilities,
Heritage is responsible for conservation
                                             services and car parking are provided at
of the abbey under a guardianship
                                             the Visitor Centre to protect the character
agreement. St Mary’s Church is owned
                                             of the historic area from intrusive modern
by the State and managed by the
                                             developments and to minimise the impact
National Trust under a local management
                                             of cars on the historic landscape.
agreement. Whilst currently not within                                                                                                         Visitor Centre

14                                           World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 1
The protection and management
requirements for the site have
                                          1.3 Defining the attributes                           1.4 Other values
changed since 2012. This has              of the outstanding                                    associated with the WHS
included considerable changes to
the UK planning system and policy         universal value of the                                In addition to the outstanding universal
framework. The Harrogate Borough          World Heritage Site                                   value, there are a range of other values
Council planning position has changed                                                           which guide how the site is managed. The
as a result of the new planning           The Statement of Outstanding Universal                World Heritage Convention 1972 places
requirements. The current planning        Value sets out a summary of the World                 value on both cultural and natural heritage
framework is set out in Appendix 3.       Heritage Committee’s reasons why the                  and recognises the need to preserve
The Steering Group membership has         site is of international importance. All              the balance between the two. Although
also been widened since the SOUV          World Heritage Sites have been asked                  inscribed on the World Heritage List as
was approved and now includes North       to define the attributes of outstanding               a cultural site, the natural environment
Yorkshire County Council, Historic        universal value (OUV) to help with the                (biodiversity and geodiversity) is an integral
England and the English Heritage Trust.   management of the site. Attributes are                part of the site. There are also important
                                          aspects of a World Heritage Site which                archaeological and historic sites not
                                          are associated with, or express, its OUV.             referred to in the SOUV. Finally, the site
                                          Within the decision making process, they              has enormous value as a tourist destination
                                          should assist with the assessment of the              and the social, cultural and economic
                                          impact of any proposed change to the site             values of the site are set out below.
                                                                                                                                                    The warming room in the abbey
                                          or in its setting. It will be a priority over this
                                          plan period to work with partners to define
                                          the attributes of the OUV of the WHS.
                                                                                                1.4.1 Archaeological values                       The abbey has long been the subject of
                                                                                                                                                  antiquarian and archaeological research,
                                                                                                The surface beauty of Fountains
                                                                                                                                                  creating a false sense that its archaeology
                                                                                                Abbey and Studley Royal rests literally
                                                                                                                                                  has been fully investigated. In reality, the
                                                                                                and intellectually on an outstanding
                                                                                                                                                  majority of the monastic precinct, and
                                                                                                archaeological resource. This reflects
                                                                                                                                                  even extensive deposits in and around
                                                                                                periods of the past no longer very
                                                                                                                                                  the cloistral complex, remain intact and
                                                                                                visible in the landscape, commencing
                                                                                                                                                  largely unexplored. This is a vast resource,
                                                                                                with prehistoric remains dating back
                                                                                                                                                  integral to the international values of the
                                                                                                to the Neolithic period and including a
                                                                                                                                                  site, which might be investigated to add
                                                                                                significant (if elusive) Romano-British
                                                                                                                                                  more to our understanding of the life and
                                                                                                occupation. Place name evidence reflects
                                                                                                                                                  development of the abbey. The same can
                                                                                                a sophisticated use of the landscape in
                                                                                                                                                  be said of Studlei Magna, where an even
                                                                                                the early medieval period, before the
                                                                                                                                                  smaller proportion has been explored.
                                                                                                establishment of the abbey. After its
                                                                                                foundation, half of the present property
                                                                                                was owned by the monks, the rest an
                                                                                                independent, vanished, medieval village
                                                                                                — Studlei Magna — whose remains extend
                                                              A red deer next to Studley Lake
                                                                                                over some 330 acres. This is archaeology
                                                                                                of at least regional and often national value.

                                          Chapter 1                                             World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                              15
The archaeological potential of designed
landscapes is less overt than that of
                                               In addition to these highlights in the
                                               estate’s history there is a range of other
                                                                                                 1.4.2 Natural                                  The underlying Millstone Grit of the site
                                                                                                                                                is overlain by Magnesian Limestone and
medieval abbeys or villages, but just as       elements that have left significant               environment values                             this sustains species-rich Magnesian
important. On sites such as Studley Royal,     archaeological record, not least the                                                             Limestone grassland, especially around
it is probably even more important, as it      domestic life of the lost Studley Hall            Biodiversity                                   the Banqueting House, which is now part
has the potential to tell the detailed story   in the deer park, and the occupation                                                             of a lowland calcareous grassland UK BAP
of the designed landscape which is the         and development of the Fountains                  The WHS contains a rich and varied             priority habitat.
reason for the estate’s WHS inscription,       estate between 1540 and 1767.                     ecology. Eight species of bat can be found
and therefore is of international value.                                                         at the site with at least three species        Geodiversity
All gardens evolve over time, often creating   Archaeological resources are all a)               breeding and many roosts within the
                                               unique, b) highly sensitive and vulnerable        historic buildings and structures. The         Within the Fountains Abbey and Studley
a far more significant archaeological record                                                                                                    Royal estate there are 2 principal bedrock
than documentary one. This has been            to ill-informed management and c)                 freshwater habitats of the river and ponds
                                               an irreplaceable resource. It is crucial          are UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan)          types. The majority of the site is underlain
proven to be the case time and time again                                                                                                       by Magnesian Limestone (Permian).
at Studley Royal over the past 25 years.       to understand this resource as well as            priority habitats and support a number of
                                               possible to avoid inadvertent damage,             species including the native white-clawed      The southern and western part of the
The site’s archaeology has been quite                                                                                                           site, including the abbey precinct and
well mapped, but the potential for further     optimise what is learnt from unavoidable          crayfish and great crested newt. The
                                               interventions, and find means of                  site also supports a wide variety of birds     Fountains Hall, is underlain by Millstone
discoveries or more detailed investigation                                                                                                      Grit (Carboniferous). The whole site is
remains considerable.                          investigation that leave the resource             including the spotted flycatcher, hawfinch
                                               untouched.                                        and lesser spotted woodpecker.                 overlain by a cover of Pleistocene gravel
                                                                                                                                                and clay with associated late Pleistocene
                                                                                                 The veteran trees of the deer park and         landforms. The best exposures of Millstone
                                                                                                 their deadwood invertebrates are of            Grit occur on the north side of the Skell
                                                                                                 international importance due to the rarity     valley, forming Echo Cliff which is where
                                                                                                 of old parkland in Europe. Many trees are      much of the building stone for the abbey
                                                                                                 more than three hundred years old and a        was quarried. Exposures of Magnesian
                                                                                                 few date from before 1600. The native          Limestone can be seen either side of the
                                                                                                 oak, field maple and yew trees, as well        formal water gardens and within the Seven
                                                                                                 as the introduced lime, beech and sweet        Bridges Valley. In the late Pleistocene a
                                                                                                 chestnut trees support a wide variety          river swollen with glacial meltwater cut
                                                                                                 of saproxylic invertebrates that are           the steep sided valley of Fountains Abbey
                                                                                                 dependent on dead or decaying wood,            and the Seven Bridges gorge along which
                                                                                                 as well as other organisms.                    today’s River Skell flows. The natural
                                                                                                                                                shelter provided by the deep post-glacial
                                                                                                 The ancient woodland on the valley sides       river valley, the presence of water and the
                                                                                                 is rich in bluebell and dog’s mercury as       surrounding geology and geomorphology
                                                                                                 well as bird’s nest orchid, small teasel and   have all influenced the development of the
                                                                                                 toothwort. The abbey ruins also support        site, the design of the landscape and the
                                                                                                 over fifty species of wall flora.              construction of the historic buildings
                                                                                                                                                and structures.

 Enjoying the pond life in the water garden

16                                             World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 1
1.4.3 Educational                                 Recreation and tourism

and learning values                               The site has had a long history of
                                                  welcoming visitors, from the beginning
Many visitors come to the site to increase        of the 17th century to today. Even before
their knowledge of the historic landscape,        the Studley Royal landscaped garden was
wildlife and people who have lived here.          finished, it was described as the ‘Wonder
The learning team provides visitors with          of the North’ by a visitor (Travel Journal
a variety of different ways to discover           of John Tracy Atkins, 1732). It is one of
the estate, its stories and history. These        the most visited National Trust properties
include guided and self-led tours, an audio       and a key attraction in Yorkshire, drawing
tour of the abbey and lively exhibitions.         visitors from many parts of Britain and
For children and students there are               overseas. Each year approximately
classrooms and workshops at Swanley               350,000 visitors come to the paying
Grange which offer year round activities          area and an estimated 150,000 people
to help children and young people learn           visit the deer park.
about different aspects of the site.
                                                  Religious and spiritual
The site also works with local colleges,
universities and apprenticeship schemes,          The estate retains an active and significant
to provide a learning base for people to          spiritual and celebratory significance
develop skills in the conservation and            for many people. A small number of
care of historic places.                          ecumenical services take place in the abbey
                                                                                                     East green of the abbey
                                                  church, notably at Easter and Christmas.
                                                  During the summer months the parish
1.4.4 Social, economic                            minister and current and former members
                                                                                                   Economic                                          Many of the visitors to the site also
and cultural values                               of the clergy volunteer their time so they
                                                                                                                                                     visit Ripon and other attractions in the
                                                  can respond to spiritual matters should it       The site has always been a working estate         local area and stay in nearby holiday
Community                                         be appropriate. St Mary’s Church remains         and its success as a visitor attraction           accommodation. The estate is also an
                                                  consecrated and is used several times            means it is an important economic driver          important employer with many of its
Local people have strong attachments to           a year for services, in addition to parish       locally and regionally. It is one of the most     staff living locally. The National Trust has
the World Heritage Site. The deer park and        weddings and christenings.                       visited attractions in Yorkshire and one          agricultural agreements with local farmers
the Seven Bridges Valley are very popular                                                          of only two World Heritage Sites in the
                                                  Peace and tranquillity                                                                             relating to agricultural pockets of land on
for family outings, often with several                                                             region; Saltaire is the other. The estate is      the fringes of the estate, which reinforces
generations coming for a walk, to see the                                                          committed to increasing the provision of
                                                  The site is highly valued for its tranquillity                                                     the economic and social significance of
deer and enjoy the views. The popularity                                                           locally sourced products and working with
                                                  and peaceful beauty and for providing a                                                            the estate and the important relationship
of the estate rests on the fact there                                                              local contractors.
                                                  quiet place for calm reflection.                                                                   between the estate and the local
are many things to do but it is also still
possible to find a quiet place. The majority
of the site’s regular volunteers live in Ripon,
Harrogate and the surrounding area.

                                                  Chapter 1                                        World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                              17
Moon Ponds and Temple of Piety

18                                World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Managing
the World Heritage Site

This chapter sets out the roles and   2.1 Management structure                      The National Trust owns the Fountains
                                                                                    Abbey and Studley Royal estate and
                                                                                                                                      Both Historic England and the English
                                                                                                                                      Heritage Trust are represented on the
responsibilities of those involved
                                      The National Trust, Historic England          manages the garden, parkland, Fountains           World Heritage Site Steering Group
in the management of Fountains                                                      Hall and the visitor infrastructure. The          which has overall responsibility for the
Abbey and Studley Royal World         and the English Heritage Trust are chiefly
                                      responsible for the conservation and          State owns St Mary’s Church and it is             preparation and delivery of the World
Heritage Site and the process for     maintenance of the site.                      cared for by the English Heritage Trust           Heritage Site Management Plan.
this update of the plan.                                                            on its behalf, although the day to day
                                      It should be noted that in 2015, English      management has been taken on by the
                                      Heritage split into two separate              National Trust under a Local Management
                                      organisations:                                Agreement. All three organisations play a
                                                                                    role in the conservation and management
                                      — Historic England, a public body to         of the abbey ruins and Fountains Abbey
                                         champion and protect England’s             Mill. The abbey ruins and mill are in a
                                         historic environment, and                  Guardianship Agreement with the State
                                                                                    and therefore although owned by the
                                      — English Heritage Trust, a new
                                                                                    National Trust, their conservation is the
                                         independent charity retaining the
                                                                                    responsibility of the English Heritage
                                         name English Heritage, to look after
                                                                                    Trust. The English Heritage Trust also
                                         — on behalf of the nation — the National
                                                                                    takes care of the monastic artefacts at
                                         Heritage Collection of more than 400
                                                                                    Helmsley Stone Store. The abbey precinct
                                         historic sites across England including
                                                                                    is a scheduled monument and Historic
                                         the ruins of Fountains Abbey.
                                                                                    England is responsible for advising the
                                                                                    Department for Culture, Media and Sport
                                                                                    whether consent should be given for works
                                                                                    affecting the scheduled monument. They
                                                                                    also provide advice on listed buildings,
                                                                                    planning and research.

                                      Chapter 2                                     World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                              19
A detailed explanation of responsibilities
                                              Place                    Management              English Heritage Trust Responsibility        National Trust Responsibility
is shown in the table.
                                              Abbey ruins              1966 Guardianship       Consolidation and maintenance of the ruins   Maintenance of surfaces inside and
                                                                       Agreement for the       (standing fabric and buried archaeology),    outside the abbey and erosion control,
                                                                       abbey ruins             including vegetation control, condition      visitor management, interpretation and
                                                                                               surveys, research, excavations and the       activities. Contribution to archaeological
                                                                                               conservation of artefacts in the Helmsley    investigation of the ruins.
                                                                                               and on-site store.
                                              Precinct wall            1966 Guardianship       Expertise and advice.                        Consolidation and maintenance
                                                                       Agreement for the                                                    of the wall.
                                                                       abbey ruins
                                              Fountains                1966 Guardianship       Excavations, consolidation and               Access, interpretation, surroundings,
                                              Abbey Mill               Agreement for the       conservation of the fabric.                  mill leat and water management.
                                                                       abbey ruins

                                              St Mary’s Church         Local Management        Conservation of the church, interpretation   Visitor access, lighting, cleaning, organ
                                                                       Agreement for St        and guidebook.                               playing, stewarding and interpretation.
                                                                       Mary’s Church 2014

                                             The WHS Steering Group includes
                                             representatives from the National Trust,
                                                                                               The WHS Stakeholder Group meets
                                                                                               annually to monitor delivery of the plan
                                                                                                                                            2.2 Producing the plan
                                             Historic England, the English Heritage            and has helped inform the management         This plan was developed by the WHS
                                             Trust, North Yorkshire County Council,            issues and actions in this plan. The Group   Coordinator and the WHS Steering
                                             Harrogate Borough Council and the                 includes local landowners, the local         Group. Consultation events were held
                                             International Council on Monuments                authority, representatives from the local    throughout the plan process to gather
                                             and Sites-UK (ICOMOS-UK). The Steering            community including mayors and parish        people’s opinions on the issues that matter
                                             Group is responsible for setting the              councillors, businesses, tourism and         the most to them. This ensured that
                                             management priorities and monitoring              environmental organisations and interest     national and local organisations, visitors
                                             delivery of the plan.                             groups. A list of these stakeholders can     and local residents had the opportunity
                                                                                               be found in Appendix 4.                      to make their voices heard and shape this
                                             The WHS Coordinator is based on the
                                             site and is responsible for coordinating,                                                      revision of the plan. A questionnaire was
                                             preparing and monitoring delivery of                                                           also available for completion online and
                                             the WHS Management Plan.                                                                       promoted through National Trust social
                                                                                                                                            media networks. A second phase of formal
                                                                                                                                            consultation on the draft plan was held
                                                                                                                                            from December 2014 to February 2015.
                                                                                                                                            The outcomes of the consultation can
                                                                                                                                            be found in Appendix 5.

20                                           World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 2
The process, including key milestones
in the preparation of the plan, is set
out below.

























Review of current Plan
WHS Stakeholder event 26 September

Action plan of current plan reviewed

Engagement strategy produced

WHS Steering Group agree enagagement strategy: 22 January

Discussions on key management issues with partners

Engagement with property staff & volunteers: 5 & 6 March

Community engagement event at Ripon Town Hall: 22 March

Visitor engagement at World Heritage Weekend: 3, 4 & 5 May

Online and paper questionnaire launched

WHS Steering Group to review Draft Consultation Report

Drafting the Plan
Draft the chapters of the plan

WHS Steering Group review objectives chapter of draft plan

Consultation on the draft Plan
WHS Steering Group meet to sign off draft plan for consultation

Stakeholder meeting to consider actions of draft plan: 20 Nov

Draft plan published for consultation: 8 weeks Nov to Jan

Summary of draft plan produced

WHS Steering Group review consultation responses March

Amending and finalising the Plan
Amend the Plan following consultation

Submit Plan to DCMS for endorsement and send to UNESCO

Printing and launch of Plan

                                                                  Chapter 2                                                                    World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                                                                                 21
An aerial view of the water garden

22                                    World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Current                                                                                                                              Ripon City Plan Committee which includes
                                                                                                                                                the Ripon Mayor and representatives
                                                                                                                                                from Ripon City Council and other local

issues affecting the                                                                                                                            interests is leading the preparation of a
                                                                                                                                                Neighbourhood Plan called the Ripon

World Heritage Site
                                                                                                                                                City Plan. Neighbourhood planning was
                                                                                                                                                introduced through the Localism Act
                                                                                                                                                2011 and gives communities powers to
                                                                                                                                                make a development plan for their area.
                                                                                                                                                The National Trust and their partners at
                                                                                                                                                the Council are working closely to ensure
                                                                                                                                                that the UNESCO approved buffer zone is
                                                                                                                                                included in the plan, particularly policies
This chapter sets out the                      3.1 Ensuring protection                                                                          to protect the vista from the WHS to Ripon
main issues to be addressed at
Fountains Abbey and Studley
                                               of the World Heritage                                                                            Cathedral and beyond to Blois Hall Farm.

Royal World Heritage Site over                 Site, buffer zone and                                                                            The planning and policy framework for
                                                                                                                                                the WHS is set out in Appendix 3.
the next 6 years. The issues                   wider setting through                            The magnificent view along the
were identified by:                                                                                                                                 Link to Objective E
                                               the planning system
                                                                                                lime avenue to Ripon Cathedral

— consulting a wide range of stakeholders
   including national and local                Ensuring the protection of the WHS,            the last plan period and approved by the          3.2 Adequacy of the
   organisations, local communities and        its buffer zone and wider setting continues    World Heritage Committee in 2012. The
   visitors                                    to be a high priority. Although the area       buffer zone boundary is shown on Map              boundaries of the World
— reviewing the objectives in the last plan
                                               within the boundary of the WHS is unlikely
                                               to be subject to development proposals
                                                                                              2. Policies to protect the WHS, the buffer
                                                                                              zone and its wider setting were included in
                                                                                                                                                Heritage Site
   and progress on delivery of the 6 year      which impact on its outstanding universal      the Harrogate Borough Council Draft Sites
   action plan                                 value (due to the fact it is wholly owned by   and Policies Development Plan Document
                                               the National Trust), outside the boundary      (DPD). This was withdrawn in June 2014,
— analysing the key performance
                                               there is potential for development             however, following concerns expressed by
   indicators set out in the last plan and
                                               proposals to threaten the values of the        the Inspector at the Public Examination.
   the results of the 2012 Periodic Report
                                               WHS. These could include large scale or        Work has now started on the preparation
   which assessed the state of conservation
                                               poorly sited renewable energy schemes,         of a new Local Plan but it is expected
   of the World Heritage Site (WHS)
                                               some agricultural developments and             to take three years before the plan is
Defining these issues has helped shape         inappropriately sited buildings which          submitted for examination. In the interim,
the long-term objectives and actions set       could harm its setting or key views into       planning policies contained in the existing         How Hill tower

out in Chapter 4 of the plan. Where an         or out of the site.                            Harrogate District Local Plan together with
issue is addressed by a specific objective                                                    guidance in the Heritage Management               The boundaries of the WHS are based on
                                               As a response to the potential harmful         Supplementary Planning Document will
these have been highlighted in this section                                                                                                     the National Trust ownership boundary
                                               impact on the WHS of development               provide a basis for protecting the OUV of
of the plan.                                                                                                                                    when the site was acquired in 1983.
                                               outside the boundary, the development          the WHS and its wider setting including
                                               of a buffer zone was taken forward in                                                            The boundary of the site was proposed
                                                                                              the buffer zone.

                                               Chapter 3                                      World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                            23
by the UK Government to the World
Heritage Committee because it
                                              Visitor pressure on the historic fabric
                                              presents issues for the maintenance of the
                                                                                                3.4 Financial sustainability                   The main source of funding for the estate
                                                                                                                                               is admissions and membership income.
represented an area managed by the least      outstanding universal value of the WHS            of the WHS                                     Visitor spending in the restaurants and
number of stakeholders. ICOMOS-UK,            and the conservation and presentation of                                                         shops, as well as staying in one of eleven
however, recognised that there were other     the gardens and parklands. The National                                                          holiday cottages on site, also makes a
areas outside the proposed boundary,          Trust has identified the following issues                                                        very important contribution to the site’s
most notably How Hill, Chinese Woods          currently facing the site:                                                                       financial sustainability.
and Spa Gill, which were part of the 18th
century gardens and should be included        — wear and tear to car park surfaces                                                            A lot of work was done over the previous
within the WHS at a later time. These areas      caused by the number of cars and                                                              plan period to diversify the commercial
now lie within the WHS buffer zone but          year round use                                                                                 activities on site, reducing reliance on
are still outside the WHS boundary.                                                                                                            visitor income. Projects included the
                                              — e rosion to path edges on the estate and                                                      development of five new holiday cottages
     Link to Objective F                        on roads through the deer park by visitor                                                      at How Hill.
                                                and delivery vehicles
                                                                                                                                               Yorkshire has an extensive tourism offer,
3.3 Encouraging more                          —d
                                                amage to grassland and compaction
                                               around tree roots at Studley Lakeside
                                                                                                                                               and there is a vast number of other historic
                                                                                                                                               sites within the region that compete
visitors while continuing                      car park and the footpath around                                                                for the same leisure and visitor spend.
                                               the lake
to ensure the peaceful                                                                                                                         While the region’s richness in cultural and
                                                                                                                                               natural heritage does attract domestic
beauty and tranquillity                       —d
                                                amage to the paving at the Studley
                                               Royal entrance by delivery vehicles                                                             and international visitors to the site, the
of the WHS is maintained                      — e rosion to the footpaths and entrances
                                                                                                   National Trust holiday cottages
                                                                                                   at the West Gate entrance
                                                                                                                                               competitive environment can put visitor
                                                                                                                                               numbers at risk.
The WHS has seen a growth in visitor            to the abbey ruins, particularly in winter
                                                when the ground is waterlogged                                                                     Link to Objective C
numbers of approximately 2% per year                                                            To conserve and protect the WHS for
over the last plan period and on peak days    Assessment work carried out to inform             future generations, it is vital that income
such as Easter, bank holidays and during      the last plan and recent customer research        is raised to fund conservation work. The       3.5 Managing the impacts
school holidays, visitor numbers can                                                            site relies on its role as a popular visitor
reach 4000 a day. During busy periods
                                              carried out by the National Trust showed
                                                                                                attraction to generate income. Visitor
                                                                                                                                               of flooding and siltation
                                              that people value the site for its peaceful
the capacity of the car parks is exceeded     and tranquil surroundings, the beautiful          numbers for the site are still on an upward
with the result that visitors park on the                                                                                                      The River Skell runs through the estate and
                                              setting in the Skell Valley, the echoes of        trend. Recent years, however, have shown
grass verges along the main access road,                                                                                                       was vastly modified in the 18th century to
                                              the past, the atmosphere and spiritual            that these numbers can be negatively
the deer park avenue and the grassland                                                                                                         create the water garden. The river feeds
                                              values. It is important that visitor pressure     affected by the economic environment,
surrounding the Studley Lakeside car park.                                                                                                     the formal ponds, canals and cascades that
                                              is carefully managed to maintain these            weather and competitive pressures. The
There can also be some localised queuing                                                                                                       form central features of the water garden.
                                              valued attributes of the site.                    impact of the global credit crunch was
at the catering outlets and admission                                                                                                          Upstream the catchment for the Skell
                                                                                                felt during the last plan period. As a
points.                                                                                                                                        is relatively small at 36 sq. km and very
                                                  Link to Objective B                           primarily outdoors attraction, the site is
                                                                                                                                               steep. It consists of soils which are prone
                                                                                                particularly susceptible to poor weather.
                                                                                                                                               to compaction and therefore high levels
                                                                                                The wet summer of 2012 impacted
                                                                                                                                               of run-off are experienced during periods
                                                                                                negatively on visitor numbers and
                                                                                                                                               of heavy rainfall which can cause flooding
                                                                                                therefore visitor income.
                                                                                                                                               of the WHS.

24                                            World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021   Chapter 3
The Ripon Multi Objective Project
                                                (Ripon MOP) was a partnership of
                                                                                                  3.6 Managing the risks                            — impact on built structures including
                                                                                                                                                       the abbey ruins, Fountains Hall and the
                                                stakeholders led by the Environment               associated with climate                              garden buildings
                                                Agency and involving Natural England,
                                                Nidderdale AONB, the Forestry                     change                                            — impact on soils and archaeology
                                                Commission and the National Trust.                                                                  — pests and diseases
                                                                                                  Evidence suggests that significant global
                                                Its aim was to reduce run-off from the
                                                                                                  warming is occurring causing changes to
                                                upper catchment of the Rivers Skell and                                                             Potential risks to the site include
                                                                                                  the climate that can be seen now and are
                                                Laver using a variety of soft engineering                                                           irreversible damage or loss of historic
  Silt deposition in the Half Moon Reservoir                                                      likely to become widespread and more
                                                techniques. Unfortunately, take up by                                                               features, landscapes and buildings due
                                                                                                  severe in the future. Changes are already
                                                land managers in the Skell catchment was                                                            to extreme weather changes; diminished
                                                                                                  occurring in temperature and precipitation
It is clear from historical documents and       limited, resulting in little flood alleviation.                                                     visitor enjoyment and access to the site
                                                                                                  patterns towards hotter drier summers and
anecdotal evidence that historic features       This project has now ended and there is                                                             as a result of flooding and drought; and
                                                                                                  milder wetter winters but also increasing
set within the valley floor have been, and      currently no catchment wide scheme in                                                               a threat to the integrity and authenticity
                                                                                                  storminess and heavy rain. These changes
continue to be, at risk from the extremes of    place to reduce silt deposition or manage                                                           of the landscape posed by potential
                                                                                                  do have the potential to impact on the
river flow. The valley bottom sits within the   flooding on the site.                                                                               solutions to these risks. Work to identify
                                                                                                  outstanding universal value (OUV) of the
flood risk area on the Environment Agency                                                                                                           the risks associated with climate change
                                                Whilst project work has stopped within            WHS as well as the wider values of the
flood maps. The recent Inland Flood Risk                                                                                                            and measures to adapt or mitigate them,
                                                the catchment, the National Trust has             estate. Management implications for the
Assessment for the abbey ruins (2013)                                                                                                               whilst still maintaining the OUV of the
                                                begun to focus on mitigation measures             WHS and maintenance of the OUV include:
carried out by English Heritage identified                                                                                                          WHS, remain a priority.
the area as ‘high risk’. The most significant   within the site and is currently exploring
                                                                                                  — impact of flash floods and low water
threat to the outstanding universal value       options to manage flooding within the                                                               Although some possible impacts of climate
                                                                                                     levels on the landscape design and
of the WHS continues to be flooding that        water garden. It continues to allocate                                                              change have been identified, there is
                                                                                                     its built and natural features (link to
causes damage to the built and natural          comparatively large financial and staff                                                             no robust baseline data demonstrating
                                                                                                     issue 3.5)
heritage and the deposition of silt within      resources to the management of the water                                                            trends in climatic conditions and modelled
the river course. The build-up of silt in       course. In 2010 the Trust spent £0.5 million      — grassland management, including                predictions of how this might impact on
the lake, canal, moon ponds and reservoir       on the Studley Lake Project which included           maintenance of the lawns                       the site.
affects the garden design and reflective        removal of silt from the lake. There is no
                                                external funding available for these works.       — the condition and selection of trees               Link to Objective G and L
qualities of the water.
                                                The dredging programmes will continue                and maintenance of historic planting
The 2004 Environment Agency report              to generate vast quantities of silt therefore        patterns
on the Ripon Flood Alleviation Scheme           new ways of reusing this material off-site
detailed a flood alleviation option for the     need to be explored.                              — the condition and maintenance of
River Skell upstream of Fountains Abbey.                                                             garden features such as the yew hedges
That option, however, was not adopted by            Link to Objective G and L                        and bosquets
the Agency and the valley floor remains                                                           — the vulnerability of exposed rock faces
at high risk from flooding. Weirs, walls,                                                            which form important elements of the
historic structures, including the abbey                                                             garden design in the Chinese landscape
ruins, and natural features such as soils                                                            at Seven Bridges, within the water
and plants continue to be vulnerable to                                                              garden and adjacent to the abbey
flood damage or loss. Low levels of flow
                                                                                                                                                      Flooding in the abbey cloister in 2007
also impact on the water garden.

                                                Chapter 3                                         World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015 — 2021                                                25
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