Scottish Government Announces Geopark Funding

by Alastair Hamilton -

The Scottish Government has announced investment that will support the Shetland Geopark, part of the UNESCO-supported Global and European Geoparks Network.

Speaking in Lerwick while attending a meeting of the Scottish Cabinet held in the islands, First Minister Alex Salmond said that he was delighted to announce funding of £280,000, to be shared between the Shetland Geopark and one in the north-west Highlands. "Geoparks”, he said, “are a fantastic place to investigate our rocks and terrain, to discover how our history has help shape the landscapes we see across Scotland today.”.

Brian Gregson, Chairman, Geopark Shetland, warmly welcomed the announcement. “It enables us to continue delivering social and economic benefits to the Shetland community through lifelong learning and geotourism. It also allows us to capitalise on the many development opportunities that result from being a member of the Global Geoparks Network, supported by UNESCO.”

A Geopark is an area of outstanding geological heritage. Geoparks use this heritage to benefit local people and promote sustainable development via tourism and education initiatives. Shetland has a remarkably varied geology, producing an astonishing variety of landscape and habitat, with some of the islands" cliff scenery being particularly celebrated.