Geowardens: communities as geodiversity custodians
To engage local communities in the conservation, management and interpretation of their local geological heritage. This will help to conserve the geodiversity, to raise awareness of how geodiversity affects the environment, heritage and communities, and provide volunteer training in rural skills.
January 2012 - December 2012
Gloucestershire Geology Trust
Geodiversity is currently undervalued and under-appreciated as an integral part of the natural and built environment. The types of rocks control the types of soils, and therefore also the types of plants which grow in the soil and also the animals which rely on that variety of flora. Geodiversity therefore underpins biodiversity.
An understanding of geodiversity provides an understanding of past environments and processes which can allow greater understanding of how the world is changing today.
The project will provide training in conservation and rural skills in order to conserve sites of geodiversity importance. Volunteer 'Geowardens' will gain a greater understanding of geodiversity, and its role in the natural environment, as well as its links to heritage and social change. They will be able to pass this knowledge on to others in a series of events and activities and raise awareness of the value of geodiversity, and the lessons we can learn from the geological heritage around us.
To conserve sites of geological importance.
Activities» Carrying out regular conservation days using "Geowarden' volunteers, accompanied by experienced geologists.
Success will be that a number of sites have conservation work carried out to improve their value and ease of access. Extra interpretation will be provided where appropriate.
To provide training in rural skills.
Activities» Training days will be provided to teach people rural conservation skills such as coppicing, woodland management and conservation of geological sites.
Success will be that between ten and twenty people are trained in skills they didn't have before, and are provided with an area of land in which to practice these skills.
To raise awareness of the value of geodiversity.
Activities» Lessons in basic geology will be provided, as well as site specific training days where detailed information on specific sites can be provided.
Success will be increased interpretation at appropriate sites and more people exposed to more information about geodiversity and its links to heritage and culture.
Long term, the Geowardens will be a sustainable group of conservation volunteers. Following this initial pilot project in one area, we hope to secure further funding to extend the Geowardnes project across the whole of Gloucestershire. There are 18 published geology and landscape trail guides in Gloucestershire, and each one of these trails would benefit from a Geowardens Groups to carry out conservation work and to help raise awareness of geodiversity.
The main risk to this project would be that too few volunteers would be recruited. We have dealt with this risk by choosing an area where we know there is significant local interest in helping with conservation.
An interim report will be produced half way through the project and final report produced at the end of the project. Both reports will be made available on our website. There will also be regular updates on the latest news section of our website throughout the project.
Budget - Project Cost: £40,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £17,000 Project management Professional geologist fees to manage and oversee other activities £4,000 Equipment & Materials Conservation tools and materials £3,000 Training !st aid training, conservation and rural skills training. £6,500 Promotion & volunteer expenses Public events, printing promotional and interpretation materials. Hiring venues and cos £9,500 Overheads Office rent, insurance, telephone, email
The project is located primarily in the Huntley Quarry Geology Reserve, Huntley, Gloucestershire. This is the only geology reserve wholly owned by a charitable geoconservation organisation, and provides a unique insight into the geological evolution of Gloucestershire over the last 400 million years.
This project aims to benefit anybody who wants to visit the reserve for recreation, education or research. The reserve is open all day everyday with no access restrictions. We hope to be able to improve disabled access as part of the conservation work.
Recent use of the site has included a range of groups including schools working towards GCSE and A Levels, local interest groups, professional geologists and university students. It is within the Abberley & Malvern Hills Geopark and Geofest.
We are the only dedicated geoconservation charity working in Gloucestershire, and we own the reserve where the work is to be carried out.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Chairman - without Mark the Gloucestershire Geology Trust would not exist. He has been the driving force behind developing GGT into a charity.
Reserve Manager - Hellen has delivered the purchase of the reserve and the development of it into a valuable educational and recreational resource.