The Geological Society of London has included The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher among the UK and Ireland’s 100 Great Geosites.
The announcement was made at the end of a seven month project to highlight the UK and Ireland’s unique geological heritage.
The final list of 100, which is in no particular order but has been divided into 10 categories, has been selected from over 400 nominations received through a social media and website campaign.
Carol Gleeson, Project Leader, Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark said: “We are delighted to be included in this prestigious list along with a number of other Irish sites, including Mizen Head (Cork), Cliffs of Slieve League (Donegal), the Giants Causeway (Antrim), Marble Arch Caves (Fermanagh/Cavan) and Ceide Fields Bog (Mayo). The Geopark is also in illustrious company with the likes of the Cliffs of Dover, Stonehenge and Glencoe making the Top 100 List.”
“The Cliffs of Moher and the Burren were lauded by the judges for their spectacular scenery, while the Burren was singled out for being one of the finest examples of a glacio-karst landscape in the world. These are attributes that we are very proud of and keen to highlight in our promotion of the Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination,” added Ms. Gleeson.
Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) has congratulated the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, adding: “Geological Survey of Ireland is delighted to see the Burren and Cliffs of Moher included in the top 100 geosites as selected by the UK and Ireland public vote through the Geological Society of London. This is a fair reflection of the outstanding beauty and geological importance of the area. We are proud to work with the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark on their endeavours in the area.”
A geosite can be anything which highlights the importance of geology to our lives – a beautiful landscape, an engineered site, a museum, historical site or structure featuring striking building stones. As well as outcrops and landscapes, the list identifies urban geological sites such as Westminster Abbey and Durham Cathedral, and industrial and economically important sites such as the Channel Tunnel, Bath Spa and Geevor Tin Mine.
Professor Rob Butler, Chair of the Geological Society’s Geoconservation Committee, said: “The list highlights the huge range of incredible geology the UK and Ireland have to offer. From the Outer Hebrides to Cornwall, from rocks showing how the crust formed billions of years ago to young sediments pushed around by ice sheets a few thousand years ago, we are unique in having such a diverse geological heritage over a relatively small area.”
“Thousands of people have been inspired to find out more about Earth science from first encounters in front of geological landscapes or a museum. The 100 Great Geosites are designed to encourage even more of the general public to get involved and enjoy some of the geology that surrounds us all,” concluded Professor Rob Butler.