GEOMÔN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

“200 km coastal path with GeoMôn's guidebook gives access to 90% of the island’s diverse geological highlights”

©S. Campbell


Celebrating Earth Heritage

The UNESCO Global Geopark is an island (Isle of Anglesey) in the Irish Sea about 78 km from Ireland and is linked by two bridges 250 metres long from the Welsh mainland. It comprises two islands, Anglesey and Holy Island which includes the main British port to Ireland, Holyhead. The UNESCO Global Geopark boundary coincides exactly to the mean low tide level along the entire coast that encompasses the island.

The UNESCO Global Geopark has great geological diversity in its solid rock foundation and glacially deposited cover. The rocks crop out as mainly north-east to south-west fault-bounded slices of mostly Precambrian and Cambrian age metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary assemblages with unprecedented exposure along its coast. These Precambrian rocks are brilliantly coloured (about 570 million years old) 'pillow' lavas (erupted on the deep ocean floor with a characteristic shape) The lowland area of ancient rocks owes its origin to the earliest formation of the Earth’s crust and its development during 1.8 billion years. It is a tectonic island, displaying rocks from every type of tectonic plate boundary, that in places is injected by mantle material. Of international significance are the rare Precambrian blueschists of southern Anglesey, the stromatolitic limestones (800-860 million years old) of northern Anglesey, that are the oldest fossils in England or Wales and the largest and most important copper mine in the world between 1780 and 1860, Parys Mountain in Amlwch. The remarkable folds and faults of South Stack date from the Cambrian period (520 million years old). Carboniferous limestones deposited about 350 million years old, crowded with fossil coral and shells show how ancient ice ages, sea level changes and plate movements affected the world long ago.

©S. Campbell


Sustaining local Communities

Visitors to this UNESCO Global Geopark can find much to see and do. The beautiful GeoMôn UNESCO Global Geopark with its spectacular coastline with rocky headlands and extensive sandy beaches attracts millions of tourists for seaside holidays, bird watching, climbing, coast steering, walking, kite surfing and swimming. There are many geotrails along the very popular coastal footpath whilst the Beaumaris trail guides the visitor around the town showing how many different rocks have been used for building castles, churches and houses. Archaeological sites show how man has lived here from the Mesolithic period about 7000 years ago, mined copper in the Bronze Age and built the best designed Edwardian castle. Famous local people include Sir Kyffin Williams R.A., a renowned local artist was a founding member of the Geopark; his great uncle, Sir Andrew Ramsay, was the "father of Welsh Geology". Many local artists, photographers and craftspeople thrive on the beautiful scenery of the Geopark.

GeoMôn UNESCO Global Geopark is involved with all stages of education from Key stages 1 to 4 and A level in schools, supplying children and teachers worksheets and providing teacher training on Earth Sciences with Keele University. They work closely with Bangor University and take some of their M.Sc students in partnership with us by co-supervising their M.Sc projects. They provide brief teaching to all the visitors in their centre and take school groups through our plate tectonic origins. They create geo-guided courses and field excursions for the public and colleges/universities on demand. In addition they have erected 15 geo-information boards at ‘hot spots’ round the island and written 2 guide books, a soils book and one geology of the island. They are providing volunteer training for local communities on the island and engage with all local events and shows. By partnering statutory bodies the Geopark enhances sustainability.



 

 

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