UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


VIRTUAL EVENT: Sustaining outstanding universal value in an evolving landscape

13 May 2020, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Photo shows Stonehenge site, a gray rock formation on a green grass field during daytime

Thank you to everyone that joined us for this virtual guest lecture - the webinar is now available to watch in full below.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage



Watch the virtual lecture

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/fLXUOlbUD98


About this lecture

Sarah Simmonds will explore what gives Stonehenge and Avebury their Outstanding Universal Value and the obligations that the UNESCO World Heritage Convention places on us to sustain this.  Sarah will examine the tensions and challenges faced in sustaining Outstanding Universal Value in an evolving landscape in multiple ownership with a diverse partner ecosystem and often competing perceptions of value.  She will look at approaches to resolving these challenges though policy, planning, partnership and landscape scale strategies.  In conclusion Sarah will consider some future challenges the World Heritage Site is likely to face, both the predictable and the more unexpected such as the current Covid-19 crisis, and their implications.

Virtual event details

This virtual lecture will consist of a 45 minute presentation from Sarah Simmonds, followed by a 15 minute Q&A chaired by Prof Richard Sandford. Following the Q&A, the webinar chat will be left open for participants to chat informally.

About the speaker

Sarah Simmonds has over a decade of experience in World Heritage Site management specialising in participatory planning, partnership working, planning policy, landscape scale strategies and community engagement. Sarah is Partnership Manager for Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.

Previously Sarah worked with the UN as a capacity building specialist in both East Timor and Afghanistan and with NGOs in Indonesia. On returning to the UK she completed a master’s degree in Cultural Heritage at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL where she undertook fieldwork with UNESCO in Ethiopia. She remains committed to working with international partners to share and develop best practice speaking recently at conferences in Brazil, Spain and South Korea focussing on the protection and presentation of cultural landscapes and World Heritage Sites.

Sarah is co-author of the first joint Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site Management Plan and is currently working on developing a sustainable funding model for the World Heritage Site with NLHF support. She is also working with partners to design a landscape access and sustainable tourism and transport strategy for the World Heritage. 

Sarah is a member of the Executive Committee of ICOMOS UK and of the City of Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Board.