Natural England - Global Geoparks

Global Geoparks

Global Geoparks are areas with an outstanding geological heritage.

High Force, County Durham, one of the geological sites within the North Pennines AONB European Geopark

To be selected as a Global Geopark the area should be managed in a way that:

  • conserves geological heritage

  • promotes the enjoyment and understanding of geology, and

  • supports sustainable development.

Global Geoparks usually contain a network of sites, which in England include geological SSSIs and Local Geological Sites, within a wider geological setting.

The European Geopark Networkexternal link (EGN) was established in June 2000 to share experience and to administer the selection of Global Geoparks in Europe. All Global Geoparks are also part of the Global Geopark Network which is supported by UNESCO.

How many are there?

There are over 40 Global Geoparks within the EGN. There are two in England, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the English Rivieraexternal link in Devon.

How are they managed?

A Global Geopark’s management and conservation is based upon existing local legislation and management plans. Each Global Geopark must have its own management plan, a strong supporting partnership and sustained resources to ensure the on-going delivery of the management plan.

An important aim of the EGN is to promote sustainable development within each Global Geopark through geological tourism (geotourism). Global Geoparks aim to raise the awareness of visitors and local communities about geology, so that geology is more clearly valued and the need for its conservation is better understood and supported.