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A Green Tourism member is awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status


On Sunday 7th July 2019, in recognition of its internationally significant heritage, science and cultural impact, Jodrell Bank Observatory was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status and has been inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Jodrell Bank now joins a prestigious group of sites across the globe recognised by UNESCO’s international community as sites of Outstanding Universal Value. The World Heritage Site inscription acknowledges Jodrell Bank’s tremendous scientific endeavours and its role in achieving a transformational understanding of the Universe. It places the site on an equal footing with the likes of Stonehenge and the Taj Mahal and represents an enormous accolade not only for Jodrell Bank and The University of Manchester, but also for the region, and the UK as a whole.

Silver Green Tourism Award

As one of the University of Manchester’s Cultural Institutions, we work towards the University’s Sustainable Development Goals and its overall Environmental Sustainability Strategy. We’re committed to supporting the University’s aspirations including in areas such as energy efficiency, sustainable building and construction, waste reduction, and sustainable purchasing and catering.

Some of our green credentials include:

  • Buildings installed with wind catchers, LED lighting and air source heat pumps, along with movement sensor lighting to reduce energy consumption and automatic windows to ensure heat conservation.
  • Recycling bins across the site and a green waste recycling scheme for the gardens and grounds
  • A year-round programme of works to maintain the diverse ecology of the 35 acres of gardens and arboretum at Jodrell Bank.
  • A hybrid vehicle for staff use, for example when travelling to educational outreach and community engagement sessions
  • An electric buggy for use on site
  • Partnerships with local suppliers to promote organic and sustainable food production in relation to the Jodrell Bank cafe.
  • Working with sustainable, artisan, local, and fair trade suppliers when purchasing for our gift shop.

We’ll continue to embrace sustainable practices as we embark on new developments at Jodrell Bank with our First Light Project. A range of initiatives are already in place as we begin construction of the First Light Pavilion in the Jodrell Bank gardens. This includes work to promote species protection such as hedge and meadow planting, pond diversity improvements and the expansion of our national tree collection.

A key part of our approach to sustainability is in engaging our communities with green activities that focus on environmental impact. We work with a number of community and voluntary groups including the RSPB and the Cheshire Beekeepers Association to help us protect and enhance our natural environment, and we run a range of public events and activities that celebrate our unique rural landscape and the diversity of our gardens and grounds.

Meanwhile, our annual festival, bluedot, which welcomes over 25,000 people to Jodrell Bank over 4 days every summer, celebrates our home planet and deliberately places science alongside culture in order to inspire curiosity and promote the value of science in helping us tackle some of the planet’s most pressing issues.

The festival is an industry leader in sustainability. -It was the first of its kind in the UK to use all-LED festoon lighting and has an entire zone dedicated to communicating Earth science and sustainability.