Geoconservation in the west of Scotland south of Highland Region is covered by three groups which are sub-committees of the Geological Society of Glasgow. These are Strathclyde Geoconservation, Geoconservation:Argyll and the Islands and GeoDiversity Dumfries & Galloway (GeoD).
The volunteeer members of these groups work with local authorities to obtain Local Geodiversity Site (LGS) designation of special geodiversity sites to ensure their preservation for present and future generations. We also introduce geology to the general public by making folk aware of the interesting rocks around and that they are the foundation of all our ecosystems. We intend to increase understanding and enjoyment of our rocks by developing access to and educational usage of geodiversity sites and trails.
- What is Geoconservation?
Geoconservation is the identification and care of sites which make a special contribution to our Earth heritage and which can illustrate the processes which formed the Planet.
- Why does it need protecting?
There are many threats to our geological heritage. Mining and quarrying can reveal clues in the rocks that are freshly exposed, but excavations can destroy evidence or make places unsafe to visit. Other threats are new building construction, fly tipping or even planned landfill. Once geodiversity is destroyed, that particular story from that particular place can never be retold.
- What is Geodiversity?
Geodiversity describes the geological variety of an area including rocks, fossils, minerals, sediments and soils as well as landforms and natural processes such as erosion and landslips. Some of these processes may still be active. Geodiversity is the foundation of all our ecosystems. It helps in the understanding and enjoyment of the natural environment, whether in ancient history of the Earth or recent times.
- Scotland's Geodiversity Charter
Scotland's Geodiversity Charter was launched in 2012. A report on some of the initiatives undertaken in the first year of charter was published in autumn 2013. This report can be viewed here.
- What are RIGS?
Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites which have been designated by a local authority. Such sites are now known in Scotland as Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS) but the term RIGS is still used by some geoconservation groups. Local Geodiversity sites can conserve important examples of local geodiversity, for the enjoyment and understanding of local people, and form a significant part of geodiversity audits and action plans.
- Strathclyde Geoconservation
Scotland's geodiversity is remarkable. For our size, we have some of the most varied geology in the world, and the west of Scotland is home to much of this exciting story. The Group's casework so far includes evidence of flash floods in the Old Red desert, world-class Carboniferous fossil trees and the Highland Boundary Fault beneath the ground that results in the mountainous boundary between the Highlands and the Lowlands.
- Argyll Geoconservation
Geodiversity: Argyll and the Islands is a geoconservation group which was set up in 2009. In common with other geoconservation groups, it aims to promote a public understanding of geological and geomorphological sites that have been identified as being important.