North West Highlands Geopark is running a crowdfunding appeal in an attempt to raise the £70,000 it needs to maintain and develop the services it provides in the geopark. The appeal closes at 14:10 on Monday 15th May. So far, it has raised almost £15,000, which is only 21% of the target amount.
North West Highlands Geopark is one of seven geoparks in the UK that were awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status in 2015. (More details can be found here.) Global Geoparks are assessed by UNESCO every four years, and have to demonstrate that they have helped to develop tourism, education and conservation in their area in order to retain their Global Geopark status. The £70,000 target for the crowdfunding appeal was intended to allow these aims to be met.
Even with £15,000 the geopark can continue to keep its visitor centre open, allowing it to make money this summer and continue to pay its core staff, who have accepted reduced hours. At the end of the summer the geopark will need to have a fresh approach in place, and so any extra time it can buy itself through the crowdfunding appeal could make all the difference to its future.
North West Highlands Geopark contains some of the most spectacular and iconic geological features in the British Isles, including Lewisian Gneiss and the Moine Thrust, and the Geological Society of Glasgow has organised several excursions to the area.