Global Network of National Geoparks

North West Highlands Geopark Report Published

Source : Published :June 23, 2009

Issued by the Sutherland Partnership

The North West Highlands Geopark, which covers much of North West Sutherland and Coigach in Wester Ross, is celebrating publication of its report on the 7th European Geoparks Network Conference, which it hosted.

This exciting development comes hard on the heels of recent Geopark successes in winning funding from the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) and from Awards for All  - and even more recently, from The Highland Council's North, West and Central Sutherland Ward Discretionary funds.

The Geopark's new keynote report, "Landscapes and People - Earth Heritage, Culture and Economy", was launched in Tongue during a recent visit of The Highland Council Convener Sandy Park and Chief Executive Alistair Dodds.  It will be used to help guide Geopark work over the next three years.

The report document contains articles from a wide range of eminent contributors, including Scottish Government minister Mike Russell, prominent members of the European Geopark Network and the British Geological Survey, SNH Chairman Andrew Thin, and senior representatives of Highland Council and the Crofters' Commission.

Geopark Steering Group Vice-Chairman Alasdair Wood (Scourie CC) said, "This forward-looking and valuable report will help our Geopark to harness our geology and landscapes for the good of tourism, community activity and local enterprise.  We are grateful to our contributors, and to Dr Issie MacPhail and her collaborators for editing and producing such an excellent "oadmap" for future Geopark activity."

Councillor George Farlow, a member of the Geopark Steering Group, agreed.  "With a full-time Geopark Officer - Dr Fiona Mackenzie - now in post, the Geopark has immense potential to help promote and publicise the North-west Highlands.  With world-class geology, landscapes and wildlife - to say nothing of our vibrant community spirit and local culture - we have a huge amount to offer.  This report will help the Geopark to capitalise on that."