Torbay’s bid for Geopark status is all signed off and ready to go.
The application for European Geopark Status has been signed off by elected Mayor Nick Bye and will be sent to the European Geopark Network in France this week.
Confidence is high amongst the 13 members of the English Riviera Geopark Organization (ERGO), which was formed in January to drive the project forward and includes, amongst others, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, Kent’s Cavern, Torquay Museum, Torbay Council, John Risdon Heritage South Devon, Palm Fm and several local schools.
Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust Education Ranger Mel Border who coordinated the application said. “After months of preparation it is exciting to finally submit the application. This is the second time we have gone for Geopark status for the Bay - an initial bid was considered premature in 2004 - and we have worked hard to put forward a much stronger proposal.”
Elected Mayor Nick Bye is also confident of success. He said “Our unique combination of a superb geological landscape, existing tourism facilities and partnership working puts us in a strong position. Attaining Geopark status would be a fantastic win for the Bay. It totally supports our long- term strategy of encouraging sustainable economic regeneration.”
The European Geopark Network will meet in April when they will appoint one of their existing members to carry out an inspection visit. A decision will be reached, and announced at the European Geopark Network conference in September. In the meantime the hard work continues and the summer will be spent hosting geology based events and installing new interpretation boards. Mel said “The Trust has planned 26 walks, boat trips and children’s events and many of the partner organizations will be running additional events throughout the summer.”
“While we wait for news of the bid we will also be working to increase the number of school groups taking part in geology based visits, and putting together a new geology trail that will link the four gateway sites; Berry Head National Nature Reserve, the Seashore Centre at Goodrington, Babbacombe and Kent’s Cavern.”