The public will be encouraged to engage with the best of Scotland’s Earth Heritage during the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017, thanks to a new project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
‘Revealing the stories in the rocks: raising awareness of Scotland’s outstanding geoheritage’ will promote fifty places across Scotland where people can experience the beauty and diversity of Scotland’s landscape while discovering the fascinating stories behind it. A Scotland wide Geoheritage Festival will take place in October 2017, incorporating a launch of the project resources at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
Scotland’s geodiversity is world-class: shaped during some three billion years of our planet’s history by the movements of the Earth’s tectonic plates, mountain building, volcanism, ice ages, sea-level change and the processes of erosion and deposition. It is no coincidence that the science of Geology was born in Scotland, when the 18th century thinker James Hutton carried out pioneering research on the rocks around him and discovered that Earth was far far older than anyone had imagined.
Visitors flock to sites like Ben Nevis, Glen Coe and Staffa for their beauty, but these places, and others less well known, can also tell us a lot about how our Earth has formed and changed over hundreds of millions of years. This project will ensure that the widest possible audience can enjoy this aspect of our shared Scottish heritage.
The project is being led by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum – a nationwide voluntary association of geological, educational and tourism groups – along with Scotland’s UNESCO Global Geoparks.
Angus Miller, Chair of the Forum said “it is time we started shouting about how great Scotland’s geoheritage is – there are incredible stories here that don’t just tell us about the past, but shape modern Scotland. This project will help tell these stories, and highlight Scotland’s geological gems to a local and international audience”
Laura Hamlet, Chair of the Scottish Geoparks Partnership said “Scotland has two UNESCO Global Geoparks and we are waiting to hear from UNESCO this year if we are about to gain a third. Global Geoparks are to our planet’s history what World Heritage Sites are to our cultural history. Our Scottish Geoparks cover 10% of the landmass of Scotland, this means that the United Nations scientific community believe that the stories we can learn about our planet in Scotland are important for the whole world! We aim to tell these stories and the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a fantastic opportunity to do just that.”
Commenting, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it’s our ambition that people of all ages will have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about. We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the Scottish Geodiversity Forum will be opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”