Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Steering Group

The World Heritage property of Heart of Neolithic Orkney is managed through an integrated and joint Steering Group composed of representatives of Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Orkney Islands Council (OIC ), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Orkney College University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) Archaeology Institute, NatureScot (former Scottish Natural Heritage - SNH), and input from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). HES manages the individual monuments that make up the WHS, while the other partners are involved in the wider management of the WHS and buffer zone in various ways. A WHS coordinator ensures effective liaison between the partners and drives forward the implementation, monitoring and revision of the Management Plan and associated action plan, promotes the OUV and public benefit of the WHS, increases awareness and understanding among partners, stakeholders and the public, and serves as a central point for advice.

Additionally, the Steering Group is also responsible for ensuring the protection of the relationships and linkages between the monuments and the wider landscape. The areas between monuments that comprise the World Heritage property and those in the area outside it that support the OUV are potentially at risk from change and development in the countryside.

The integrated nature-culture competences of the Steering Group, through its multidisciplinary cooperation between the management partners are necessary for the protection of the cultural and natural values of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.

- The experience of the previous cycle of management plan and the cooperation between multidisciplinary institutional stakeholders has highlighted the need for a change of focus in the revised Management Plan, which strongly builds on the relationships between the World Heritage property of Heart of Neolithic Orkney and the wider landscape and seascape of the archipelago.

- The integrated management approach is key to the protection of the World Heritage property of Heart of Neolithic Orkney and its Outstanding Universal Value, particularly when dealing with infrastructure and other development proposals (one example is the past proposals for the construction of wind turbines and related facilities).

- The management of the World Heritage property of Heart of Neolithic Orkney has to be integrated into wider local and national planning, looking not only at the site itself but also at the wider setting of the property and its surrounding landscape.