Charter Launch and Conference 16 Nov 2017

Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter
Launch and Conference

Thursday 16 November 2017
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

Book now for Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter Launch and Conference

Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter sets out a vision: that Scotland’s geodiversity is recognised as an integral and vital part of our environment, economy, heritage and future sustainable development, to be managed appropriately and safeguarded for this and future generations. The Scottish Geodiversity Forum has worked with partners to revise and update the Charter during 2017, ready for the launch of the renewed Charter at this conference with the support of more than 70 organisations.

The conference is supported by Scottish Natural Heritage, the British Geological Survey, the Edinburgh Geological Society and the Geological Society of Glasgow.


10.00am Charter Launch Bridget Campbell, Director for Environment and Forestry will launch the Charter on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The importance of geodiversity and the Charter – representatives of key signatory organisations:
– Scottish Natural Heritage (Kath Leys, Manager of SNH Ecosystems and Biodiversity Unit)
– British Geological Survey (Tracy Shimmield, Co-Director, Lyell Centre)
– Mineral Products Association Scotland (Paula Coopland, CEO)
– National Trust for Scotland (Stuart Brooks, Head of Natural Heritage Conservation Policy)

10:45am Keynote: Prof Iain Stewart, Patron of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum

(coffee break)

12 noon Charter Case Studies: presentations from key sectors
1. Local Authorities and Local Geodiversity Sites (Julie Dewar, City of Edinburgh Council; Chris Alcorn, West Lothian Council) We will demonstrate the ways in which Local Geodiversity Sites are assessed and protected through the Local Plan System, and discuss ways in which the sites have been promoted.

2. Outdoor Learning – from the rocks up! (Pete Higgins, University of Edinburgh) For many young people, outdoor learning provides a rare opportunities to learn through guided direct experience in, about and indeed for the environment; and to develop their relationship with the landscape (from the rocks up!). This presentation discusses the growing recognition of the wide range of benefits of outdoor learning, and recent education policy developments intended to increase and improve provision in Scotland.

3. Value and benefits of UNESCO Global Geoparks (Laura Hamlet, Northwest Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark) How does being a UNESCO Global Geopark make a difference to the communities in the North-West Highlands of Scotland? An inclusive bottom-up approach to sustainable development using geodiversity as the foundation of ecotourism and education.

4. A Scottish Carboniferous Research Park: sensitive open cast restoration can create space for tourism, learning and research (Graham Leslie, British Geological Survey) The Spireslack surface coal mine in East Ayrshire exposes a world class man-made geological exposure in Carboniferous coal-bearing rocks that have underpinned industrial and social change since the start of Scotland’s Industrial Revolution. These huge excavations deliver a critical insight into the nature of the sub-surface in the Midland Valley of Scotland for anyone concerned with learning, research and well-informed sub-surface planning decisions.


2pm Charter Case Studies (continued)
5. Tourism: engaging visitors with the landscapes of Orkney and Shetland (Robina Barton, Selkie Ventures) Geology is seldom the first reason that people visit Orkney and Shetland, but it can enhance any tour. Many people have no knowledge of the way in which the landscape has formed and changed over vast periods of time, so sharing this knowledge can be a great way to surprise them and add value to the exploration of the natural and cultural heritage of the islands.

6. Shaping Our Landscape: A Landscape Partnership Approach to Geology Interpretation (Ewan Bachell, Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership)
The Clyde and Avon Valleys host some of the country’s best examples of fluvioglacial landscapes, which have influenced almost every aspect of life in the area over the centuries. Our project explores these features and their relationships with people, engaging communities and stakeholders to develop an exhibition, and bring an under-represented aspect of the landscape to a wide audience.

7. Dynamic Geodiversity: Restoring active river processes to enhance habitats and natural flood management (Kenneth A. MacDougall, Enviro Centre Ltd) The Rottal Burn in Angus was constrained within a straightened channel for over 150 years before the lower reaches were released in 2012 into a newly formed channel where natural river processes have been allowed to shape the burn. The partnership approach to these works enabled the impacted length of the burn to be increased by 50% to over 1 km, increasing the habitat diversity and restoring connectivity to the natural floodplain.

8. Walk 4.6km across Earth’s 4.6bn year geological timeline – the Deep Time Walk App (Robert Woodford) The Deep Time Walk enables anyone with a smartphone to take a guided 4.6km walk through Earth’s geological timeline. The project aims to connect people with their common ancestral heritage and enables people to comprehend humanity’s place in the immense big history of Earth. The interactive walking audio book combines the latest scientific evidence with humanities to tell the story of how Earth developed and the impact of humanity in the age of the Anthropocene.

3pm Round table discussions on geodiversity engagement within key sectors.
Time for delegates to ask questions and find out more about geodiversity engagement within key sectors. There will be two 30-minute discussions sessions: session A based on case studies 1-4 and session B on case studies 5-8.

4pm Plenary
4.30 pm Close

Who’s it for?

We expect more than 100 delegates from across Scotland, including representatives of most signatory organisations, Forum members (representatives of museums, universities, geoconservation groups, Geoparks, geological societies), industry representatives – members of the Mineral Products Association and the Geological Society of London, and environmental organisations. Given Scotland’s pioneering approach to the recognition of geodiversity, we would also expect delegates from elsewhere in the UK.

Further information

Book your place via Brown Paper Tickets

The Scottish Geodiversity Forum is a small voluntary organisation working on a shoestring budget. However, we are keen that cost should not be a barrier to attending this conference; please get in touch if you would like to discuss this or if you are able to make a donation to support the conference.

If you have any questions please contact Angus Miller 0131 555 5488 /