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Packed programme for geopark visitors

By Staff Reporter

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Managers of the North West Highlands Geopark (NWHG) last week welcomed a delegation from the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The committee’s remit is to promote information sharing and partnership working between the UK’s seven global geoparks.

The delegates enjoyed a packed programme of activities and events which saw them travel extensively throughout the area.

Along the way they took in some of the Geopark’s tourism infrastructure, including landscape and area information points called geopods; roadside interpretation called the Rock Route and driving guides known as Pebble Routes.

They visited Balnakeil Craft Village in Durness and saw the Deep Time exhibition on the geology and history of the area. Members of environmental group Plastic@Bay gave a talk on their marine plastics recycling initiative.

Delegates also stopped off at Assynt Leisure in Lochiver to hear about how the organisation has taken on the running of a community tourist information centre. They also heard from Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape (CALL) aboutthe projects run by the partnership.

At Knockan Crag National Nature Reserve the group enjoyed a session on innovative solutions to presenting self-guided walks and interactive learning against the challenges of weather and remoteness

Geopark geologist Pete Harrison said: “Hosting so many experienced geopark colleagues was a very positive experience.

“We were able to learn about how other areas do sustainable development that builds on geological heritage whilst demonstrating how we present our natural and cultural heritage to visitors.

“We seemed to make a very positive impression on them, judging by their feedback”.

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