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Geopark Shetland Achievements
UNESCO Global Geopark

Geopark Shetland Achievements

Geo-Exhibit, Braewick. Copyright Robina Barton. Geo-Exhibit, Braewick. Copyright Robina Barton. Zoom Public Awareness
Since the Geopark Shetland Working Group (GSWG) was established in 2004, Geopark Shetland has continually raised awareness of Shetland’s geology and kept the public informed of Shetland’s Geopark bid in various ways, such as:
Annual programmes of talks, presentations and workshops on Shetland’s geology and the Geopark bid.
Articles on Shetland’s geology in local and national publications.
Coverage of Geopark Shetland activities in local press.
Attending local fairs and open days, such as the environment and science fairs.
Holding short courses on Shetland’s geology. 

Geowall Fetlar. Copyright Robin Barton. Geowall Fetlar. Copyright Robin Barton. Zoom Project Development
Shetland Amenity Trust has managed a number of projects related to Shetland’s heritage and culture, including its geological heritage. Since the establishment of the GSWG many projects related to Shetland’s geological heritage have been driven forward.

Achievements Include
2014

  • AboveWater/UnderWater Shetland approved by Geopark Shetland endorsement scheme
  • ‘ShEEP DIP’ 2014 2-day outdoor activities event with Shetland Environmental Education Partnership (Old Scatness 212 primary pupils)                           
  • Scalloway Primary School visits to Clickimin Broch to explore humans and resources led by Geopark Shetland
  • Geographical Club visit to Shetland assisted by Geopark Shetland                 
  • Scottish Geoparks Open Day at Our Dynamic Earth attended by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change Paul Wheelhouse.                       
  • UK Global Geoparks Forum at Saxa Vord, Unst.  Shetland welcomes delegates from the English Riviera Global Geopark (England), North Pennines AONB and Global Geopark (England), Fforest Fawr Global Geopark (Wales), GeoMôn Global Geopark (Wales), North West Highlands Global Geopark (Scotland) and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark (Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland). In addition to the Geopark delegates there were representatives from the British Geological Survey, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Visit Scotland and the UK National Commission to UNESCO (UKNC).  Pupils from Baltasound school attended the Open Session of the Forum and interviewed delegates.
  • Anderson High School ‘Land of Rock’ expedition for John Muir Award project assisted by Geopark Shetland
  • Group Business seminar for tourism providers at Saxa Vord, Unst, hosted by Geopark Shetland in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Visit Scotland as part of the Northern Georoutes Project
  • Shetland takes over as Catalyst for the EGN Coastal Thematic Working Group
  • Interpretation workshop delivered by Geopark Shetland for ‘Scotland Rocks’ Higher Pupils Conference 2014 organised by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Perth
  • Adult Learning Class (spring) ‘Landscape, Geology and Geopark Shetland’ led by Keith Turner, Geography Teacher, Anderson High School                            
  • Teacher workshops on classroom resources delivered by Shetland Environmental Education Partnership
  • ‘Sheeksin’ on Geopark Shetland delivered at Shetland Museum and Archives
  • Presentation on UK Geoparks delivered by Geopark Shetland for the Tectonic Studies Group AGM in Cardiff   
  • Article on Northern Georoutes project published in EGN magazine               

September 2013

  • Geopark Shetland successfully revalidated by the European Geoparks Network for a further 4 years membership of the Global Geoparks Network which is supported by UNESCO.

2013

  • Engaging Communities presentation and workshops delivered by Geopark Shetland at Scottish Geodiversity Forum conference and Sharing Good practice event, SNH Battleby
  • Meeting of Northern Georoutes project partners in Reykjavik
  • Memorandum of Understanding agreed with North West Highlands Geopark and Lochaber Geopark. Geopark Shetland becomes Chair of Scottish Geoparks Partnership.
  • Geopark Shetland joins Shetland Environment Team and Chairs Geodiversity Sub-group
  • Presentation on Northern Georoutes Project at EGN conference in Cilento e Vallo di Diano Geopark, Italy, delivered by Magma Geopark and Geopark Shetland
  • European Geoparks Network revalidation visit
  • Official launch of Geopark Shetland app for Android and iPhone and completion of the HINT project website and best practice guide in English and French.
  • Shetland Nature Festival 2013 in partnership with European Geoparks Week delivered by Geopark Shetland, Shetland Amenity Trust Ranger Service, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Royal Society for Protection of Birds and Shetland Arts Development Agency.
  • Tectonic Studies Group visit assisted by Geopark Shetland. The group delivered a public talk at Shetland Museum and Archives and handed out packs about Shetland's rocks and minerals developed specially for the event with funding from the University of Aberdeen.
  • Kergord expedition for John Muir Award project assisted by Geopark Shetland                          
  • Anderson High School Ronas Hill expedition for John Muir Award project assisted by Geopark Shetland
  • ‘ShEEP DIP’ 2013 2-day outdoor activities event with Shetland Environmental Education Partnership (Kergord and Meal Beach 136 primary pupils)
  • Workshop on Heritage Interpretation using New Technologies delivered by Geopark Shetland at Hoswick Visitor Centre for Shetland Heritage Groups in the South Mainland                
  • Workshop on Heritage Interpretation using New Technologies delivered by Geopark Shetland at Scottish Natural Heritage Leading Edge technology event, SNH Battleby
  • Options appraisal to identify the best mechanism for the future operation of Geopark Shetland submitted to Shetland Islands Council       
  • Interpretation workshop delivered by Geopark Shetland for ‘Scotland Rocks’ Higher Pupils Conference 2013 organised by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Perth
  • Geopark Shetland promotion at UNESCO HQ Paris during EGN Coordination Committee meeting       
  •  ‘Welcome to Geopark Shetland’ signage installed at Sumburgh Airport and Northlink Ferry terminal
  • Geopark Shetland display developed at Visit Shetland in Lerwick
  • European Geoparks Corner launched in Shetland Museum and Archives
  • Two years of core funding secured from the Scottish Government. Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, named as Minister responsible for Scotland’s Geoparks
  • Environmental Science Graduate work experience at Geopark Shetland
  • Article on Scottish Geoparks and Scotland's Geodiversity Charter published in EGN magazine   

2012

  • Launch of Northern Georoutes tourism project in partnership with Magma Geopark (lead partner, Norway), Katla Geopark (Iceland) and Stonehammer Geopark (Canada)
  • Creative Interpretation workshop delivered by Geopark Shetland – Scottish Geodiversity Forum annual conference, SNH Battleby
  • Geology Higher pupil work experience at Geopark Shetland
  • Adult Learning Class  (autumn) ‘Exploring Geopark Shetland’ led by Keith Turner, Geography Teacher, Anderson High School
  • Adult Learning Class (autumn) ‘Introducing Geopark Shetland’ led by Keith Turner, Geography Teacher, Anderson High School
  • Presentation on HINT project at EGN conference in Arouca Geopark, Portugal, delivered by Geopark Shetland
  • Shetland Geology 2 day course delivered by Allen Fraser, Shetland Geotours (North and South Mainland).
  • Geology Graduate work experience at Geopark Shetland 
  • Geopark app for Android beta version developed and launched for testing along with the HINT project website.
  • Shetland Nature Festival 2012 in partnership with European Geoparks Week delivered by Geopark Shetland, Shetland Amenity Trust Ranger Service, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Royal Society for Protection of Birds, supported by volunteers from the Scottish Geodiversity Forum.    
  • Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter launched by Scottish Geodiversity Forum, using Scotland's Geoparks as a case study.
  • Meeting of HINT project partners hosted by Geopark Shetland
  • Dunrossness Primary School visit to Shetland Museum and Archives assisted by Geopark Shetland      
  • Sandwick Junior High School Drop-in information session delivered by Geopark Shetland                      
  • Sandwick Junior High School workshop on rock types and habitats delivered by Geopark Shetland      
  • Sandwick Junior High School site visits to Catpund and Fladdabister led by Geopark Shetland              
  • ‘ShEEP DIP 2012’ 2-day outdoor activities event with Shetland Environmental Education Partnership (Northmavine and Breckon 95 primary pupils)              
  • Working with Anderson High School and Baltasound Junior High School to deliver a two day schools field trip to the Eshaness peninsula to explore ‘Shetland’s volcano’. This project was funded by the Zetland Educational Trust.
  • HMIE report on Anderson High School highlights Geopark Shetland, saying ‘Young people feel initiatives, such as the Geopark Project and Armistice week, help to bring their learning alive.’
  • Adult Learning Class (spring) ‘Introducing Geopark Shetland’ led by Keith Turner, Geography Teacher, Anderson High School
  • Draft position paper on Geoparks and renewable energy developed with TERRA.Vita Naturpark (Germany)
  • Article on HINT project published in EGN magazine
  • Launch of Geopark Shetland postcard range and souvenir magnet sets

2011  

  • Adult Learning Class (autumn) ‘Introducing Geopark Shetland’ led by Keith Turner, Geography Teacher, Anderson High School                                         
  • Scottish Geography Teachers Conference ‘Introducing Scotland’s Geoparks’ delivered by Keith Turner, Geography Teacher, Anderson High School              
  • Higher pupil work experience at Geopark Shetland
  • First meeting of HINT partners and intensive course in digital interpretation in Chablais Geopark
  • Shetland Nature Festival 2011 in partnership with European Geoparks Week delivered by Geopark Shetland, Shetland Amenity Trust Ranger Service, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Royal Society for Protection of Birds                         
  • Launch of Old Haa project and associated booklet. This booklet was funded by Museums and Galleries Scotland
  • Completion of interpretive picnic table and chairs at Braewick Café
  • Launch of Shetland Ophiolite Trail at Unst Heritage Centre                                             
  • Launch of HINT project (Heritage Interpretation using New Technologies) in Partnership with Chablais Geopark (France), North Pennines AONB and Geopark (England) and Geopark de Hondsrug (the Netherlands).
  • Shetland Islands Council funding secured to develop an Options Appraisal for the Geopark
  • Leader and Scottish Natural Heritage funding secured to develop an app for Android and iPhone based around Geopark Shetland. The project is a pilot that forms part of a wider transnational project with partners from several Geoparks and aspiring Geoparks. Geopark Shetland is lead partner in the cooperation project which aims to explore the use of new technologies in heritage interpretation.
  • Geopark Shetland promoted at British Geological Survey Open Day via Lochaber Geopark.
  • Shetland Geology 2 day course delivered by Allen Fraser, Shetland Geotours (North and South Mainland).
  • Geopark Shetland promoted at Open University Geology Society symposium in Stirling via Allen Fraser, Shetland Geotours
  • Social networking capabilities of Geopark Shetland developed through the launch of an updated website Facebook page and Twitter feed 
  • Short promotional film of Geopark Shetland produced in collaboration with Promote Shetland
  • Geopark Shetland Strategy and Action Plan 2011-14 developed
  • Bells Brae Primary School workshops led by Geopark Shetland
  • Bells Brae Primary School  visits to Clickimin Broch to explore humans and resources led by Geopark Shetland                
  • ‘ShEEP DIP’ 2011 2-day outdoor activities event with Shetland Environmental Education Partnership (Voxter 130 primary pupils)                                       
  • Working with Anderson High School and Baltasound Junior High School to deliver a two day schools field trip to Unst  to explore ‘the Shetland ophiolite’
  • Exchange student work experience at Geopark Shetland  
  • Anderson High School  visit Shetland Museum and Archives assisted by Geopark Shetland    
  • Article on education in Geopark Shetland published in EGN magazine

APRIL 2010

  • Shetland becomes a member of the Global Geoparks Network at the 4th International Geoparks Conference held in Langkawi Geopark, Malaysia.

2010

  • Seabirds-and-Seals approved by Geopark Shetland endorsement scheme
  • Shetland Geotours approved by Geopark Shetland endorsement scheme
  • Geopark Shetland helps to found the Scottish Geodiversity Forum along with the British Geological Survey, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scotland’s Geoparks, Geological Societies and National Museums Scotland.
  • Geopark Shetland workshops for the Schools Science Fair 2010 at Clickimin Leisure Centre and Anderson High School (secondary level)                                   
  • Geopark Shetland stand at careers convention at Clickimin Leisure Centre                                                 
  • Geopark Shetland schools ‘in service’ session on volcano trail education pack development   
  • Shetland Geology 2 day course delivered by Allen Fraser, Shetland Geotours (Central Mainland).
  • Geology Project Officer becomes STEM Ambassador to help encourage study of Science among school children
  • Working with Anderson High School and Baltasound Junior High School to deliver a two day schools field trip to the Eshaness peninsula to explore ‘Shetland’s volcano’, through which pupils gained a John Muir Conservation Award. This project was funded by a Royal Society Partnership Grant.
  • Creation of a garden installation, museum display and audio feature celebrating the rocks of Yell and Yell’s North American links in partnership with the Old Haa Trust and school pupils in Burravoe. This project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and Shetland Islands Council
  • Development of second self- guide trail ‘The Shetland ophiolite’ and associated exhibits. This explores a stranded section of Oceanic crust in Britain’s most northerly island. This project was funded by Leader and Shetland Islands Council
  • Development of interpretive picnic table and chairs at Braewick Café. This project was funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and Shetland Islands Council.
  • Shetland Nature Festival 2010 in partnership with European Geoparks Week delivered by Geopark Shetland, Shetland Amenity Trust Ranger Service, Scottish Natural Heritage and The Royal Society for Protection of Birds
  • ‘ShEEP DIP’ 2010 2-day outdoor activities event with Shetland Environmental Education Partnership (Old Scatness, 108 primary pupils)                                  
  • Urafirth Primary School workshop led by Geopark Shetland (on invitation from a pupil at the school) 
  • Bells Brae Primary school visit Shetland Museum and Archives assisted by Geopark Shetland
  • Bell’s Brae primary school ASN group visit Bressay Burnt Mound and Heritage Centre for geology themed activities led by Geopark Shetland                            
  • Anderson High School ASN group visit Braewick for geology themed activities led by Geopark Shetland
  • Burravoe Primary School pupils visit Geopark office and Shetland Museum and archives geology section assisted by Geopark Shetland
  • Geopark Shetland Marketing Strategy developed
  • Article on Geopark Shetland published in EGN magazine

SEPTEMBER 2009

  • Shetland becomes a member of the European Geoparks Network at the 8th Annual European Geoparks Conference held in Geopark Naturtejo, Portugal

2009

  • Launch of the first in a series of self-guided trails. ‘Shetland’s Volcano’ takes visitors on a tour of Northmavine’s volcanic past. Launch event involves Anderson High School and Sandwick Junior High School.
  • Launch of the Geopark Shetland website. 
  • Geopark Shetland workshops for the Schools Science Fair 2009 at Clickimin Leisure Centre (primary level)
  • Shetland Geology 2 day course delivered by Allen Fraser, Shetland Geotours (North and South Mainland).
  • Geopark Shetland activity provided for Olnafirth Primary School Green Day              
  • Geopark Shetland helps to found the Shetland Environmental Education Partnership with the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage, Shetland Islands Council and other environmental organisations
  • Development and installation of a series of 52 interpretive panels at sites of interest throughout Shetland, including 17 panels with geological interpretation.

2008

  • Survey of all Shetland schools carried out to assess current educational initiatives and where Geopark Shetland could enhance geology and earth science education.
  • 2nd European Geopark application submitted, resulting in Shetland progressing to the next stage - an assessor’s visit.
  • Shetland Geology 2 day course delivered by Allen Fraser, Shetland Geotours (North and South Mainland).
  • Installation of Geoart exhibits at Stenness and Braewick.
  • Restoration of the Hagdale Horse Mill, the last surviving example of a mill of its kind in the UK.
  • Creation of geological walls on Fetlar and at Mavis Grind, which introduce visitors to the rocks and geological features of the area.

2007

  • Shetland Amenity Trust appointed a Geology Project Officer, to act as a project coordinator, develop the Geopark application and liaise with European Geoparks Network.
  • Shetland geology leaflet developed as part of a suite of 30 thematic and geographic interpretive leaflets.
  • The Geopark Shetland Working Group established a political will and community support to use Shetland’s geology as a driver for developing sustainable Geotourism and for Shetland to become a member of the European Geoparks Network, including: 
    • Unanimous approval of these aims at a full Local Authority council meeting.
    • Majority approval at six public meetings held in strategic locations throughout Shetland.
    • A number of letters of support from various internal and external organisations.

        2005/2006

        • Shetland’s first application for European Geopark Status was developed and submitted in 2006. Although it was well received, the EGN identified some areas for development and suggested work in these areas before a resubmission. 

        Geopark Conferences

        Members of the GSWG have attended the annual European Geoparks Conference since 2005, often giving presentations on Shetland’s geology and Geopark Shetland to the delegates.

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