For a number of years now a small group has been investigating the possibilities of an application to UNESCO for global geopark status for East Yorkshire, with support from a growing number of individuals, local, regional and national agencies, universities and other bodies.
Global Geoparks are given to areas of outstanding and unique geology and landscape in recognition of their wealth of historical heritage, tourism, and investment into local economies and people.
The proposed Geopark (see map) would run along the River Derwent in the West and North to Filey Brigg, along the coast in the East to Spurn Point and then along the Humber and Ouse in the South. This would encompass the Vales of York and Pickering, the Yorkshire Wolds and Holderness.
It is recognised that there is much talk about AONB status for the Yorkshire Wolds which our project supports for where the former is a legislative designation with a legal framework of planning and conservation, a Geopark is an international designation of an area. There is no conflict of interest between the two proposals.
There are at present 8 UNESCO designated Geoparks in the UK, with 4 ‘aspiring ones’ and 3 ‘interested areas’, including East Yorkshire.
The progress towards Geopark status is long with many hurdles and procedures to follow before we declare ourselves a Geopark prior to the actual application to UNESCO.
If you want further information please contact Paul Thornley, Secretary, on 07810 402684