This special landscape has received official UNESCO recognition.
UNESCO – the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture – has announced a new programme, which creates UNESCO Global Geoparks. This is the first new UNESCO programme to be established in over 40 years and puts the Global Geoparks alongside UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Previously operating with the informal support of UNESCO, the status of Global Geoparks will be formally recognised under the new programme. This new designation is being conferred on the existing UK Geoparks, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The UK sites are part of a growing international network of Global Geoparks – areas of outstanding geological interest which use their unique geology to drive local development.