Sites make Unesco world heritage status bid shortlist

Cruise liner Queen Mary 2 under the Forth Rail Bridge
Image caption The Forth Rail Bridge could join the Canadian Rockies as a world heritage site

Three sites in Scotland have made it onto the UK shortlist to bid for world heritage status.

The Forth Rail Bridge and Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof in Shetland have been named as contenders for Unesco recognition.

The Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland, a vast area of peatlands, is also a prospective nominee.

UK Tourism Minister John Penrose announced the "tentative" list of 11 sites.

'Fantastic examples'

He said: "Few places in the world can match the wealth of wonderful heritage we have available in the UK.

"The 11 places that make up the new UK tentative list are fantastic examples of both our cultural and natural heritage and I believe they have every chance of joining famous names like the Sydney Opera House and the Canadian Rockies to become world heritage sites."

The three sites in Shetland, which preserve examples of broch architecture, were nominated together under the banner of the Crucible of Iron Age Scotland.

The final shortlist was whittled down from 38 landscapes, buildings and industrial heritage sites across the UK.

Nominations will be submitted from next year, and will be based on the strength of their case and the likelihood they will be awarded world heritage status.

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