Global Network of National Geoparks

Geodiversity, Education and tourism in Leicestershire and Rutland

Published :April 15, 2008

K. Ambrose
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, England, UK

Keywords: Geodiversity, education, tourism

Two contracts awarded to BGS through the ODPM and MIRO has focused on geodiversity in the geologically diverse counties of Leicestershire and Rutland, with rocks ranging from Precambrian to the Quaternary. The work has a special emphasis on education and tourism.

The first project completed in March 2004, included a full audit of geological sites highlighting a number of potential new RIGS sites educational resources. The educational and tourism aspects of this project included the installation of interpretation boards at 10 key sites, the creation of viewing areas at two quarries, making a video/DVD of the geology of the Dinantian rocks in Breedon and Cloud Hill quarries for A level geology students, creating two geological trails (with booklets) in Charnwood Forest, creating education packs of local rocks, minerals and fossils and the provision of new storage facilities for geological specimens at the Leicestershire Heritage Services Barrow store,. A website of the geological data was also created.

The second ongoing project focuses on Charnwood Forest, producing a 1:25,000 scale geological map of the area together with an accompanying booklet; making a video/DVD of the geology of Charnwood Forest, again for A level geology students and data basing specimens in the Leicester City and Leicestershire county museums and Leicester University Geology department. The website is also being upgraded. A third aggregates levy project with English Nature, created a new geological display and education facilities for the Bradgate Park Visitor Centre in Charnwood Forest.

Geodiversity is inherently linked to geoparks and the strategies adopted for each can be replicated in the other. The emphasis on geo-tourism and education in the Leicestershire and Rutland LGAP can be utilized to good effect in geoparks, in particular the installation of interpretation boards and the creation of geological trails.