Geoparks exist to tell the story of our landscape, from deep, geological time to more recent human history. Through this they provide attractions for visitors and locals and high-quality educational materials for every stage of life. They bring no extra regulations to a region, but try to build a sustainable future by encouraging everyone to be good stewards of our natural and cultural resources.
Regular readers of our blog will doubtless have come across the work of the North West Highlands Geopark before – among many other outreach activities, they have been enthusiastic participants of Earth Science Week for several years. The Geopark currently has UNESCO status, meaning it is a site of international geological significance. UNESCO Global Geoparks are established and managed by local communities, with a focus on protection, education and sustainable development.
The North West Highlands Geopark’s amazing geology includes the oldest rocks in Europe (Lewisian Gneiss – 3 billion years old), the earliest evidence of life to be found in Europe (simple-celled algal life occurring in 1.2 billion year old Torridian Sandstone) and the Moine Thrust – the most significant crustal dislocation of its type in North West Europe. The area has also played a hugely significant role in the history of geological research, and is visited by hundreds of geology students from around the world.
The Geopark receives no funding for core staff from Government, Local Authority or anywhere else – and with its UNESCO status due to be assessed in 2019, is in need of help to continue to deliver its objectives. To support the crowdfunder and find out more about the Geopark, visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/love-the-geopark. You can also donate directly to the Geopark via their website.