15.30 News from Nowhere: The Shepherds’ Republic and the Energy Coast
What futures does landscape hold? The Lake District might be seen as the birthplace of heritage management, yet it has struggled to gain World Heritage Site status. It is currently being considered for designation as a cultural landscape, a category that was created partly in response to the very combination of natural and cultural features that the site possesses. That landscape is largely a product of hefted fell shepherding, as celebrated by William Wordsworth. He posited a utopian “Shepherd’s Republic” that was partly predicated on the isolation of the area. More recently, that same isolation was a factor in siting Windscale, a nuclear power and processing site (subsequently renamed Sellafield), on the nearby coast. As the national park is considered for World Heritage Site status, we can usefully ask “What does Heritage Change?’” Which pasts of this place should be foundational to its futures? What practices underpin that transformation? This paper will present results from ethnographic and archaeological fieldwork as part of the Assembling Alternative Futures for Heritage project to address these questions.