The future of Shetland’s Geopark has been secured this week with an announcement of funding made by the First Minister Alex Salmond.
Mr Salmond confirmed that £280,000 would be given to two Geopark projects, in Shetland and the North-West Highlands. The investment will be provided over two years, allowing the Geoparks to continue as part of the UNESCO supported Global and European Geoparks Network.
Mr Salmond said yesterday: “Throughout history, deserts, seas and volcanoes have all left their mark on our landscape creating the varied and interesting environment that can influence every part of life. For a country our size, Scotland has some of the most varied geology in the world.
“Geoparks 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.
“We know that our geology in Scotland is unparalleled across the world in terms of its quality and we should all value our geodiversity. I am delighted to announce funding of £280,000 to support these two Geoparks in Shetland and the North-West Highlands.
“This announcement demonstrates that the Scottish government is delivering on a national and local level for communities across Scotland especially in this year, the Year of Natural Scotland.”
Geopark Shetland chairman Brian Gregson said the organisation was “delighted to have secured this support from the Scottish government. 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.
“We look forward to working with the Scottish government and the North-West Highlands Geopark over the next two years to ensure the long term sustainability of the Scottish Geoparks.”