Scottish 'geopark' loses status

One of six UK areas of geological interest designated as 'geoparks' by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) has lost this status because it cannot afford to employ a required full-time officer.

Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis

Lochaber Geopark covers the area around Ben Nevis and was designated in 2007.

A park spokesman said: "Lochaber Geopark was set up to promote understanding and appreciation of how the local scenery was created.

"It intends to maintain as many as possible of its current activities, but in the current financial climate it will be difficult to regain UNESCO recognition."

Geoparks must contain geological sites of national and international scientific importance and the status is used to promote sustainable tourism.

Unlike national parks, geopark status does not alter normal planning rules.


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