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Push for Jersey to become UNESCO Geopark

Push for Jersey to become UNESCO Geopark

Tuesday 01 June 2021

Push for Jersey to become UNESCO Geopark


Jersey Heritage wants the island to be officially recognised as an area of geological significance by UNESCO, and has launched a new exhibition explaining why the island's landscapes and "seascapes" are special.

The Aspiring Jersey Island Geopark Visitor Centre, which is located in the John de Veulle Gallery on the ground floor of Jersey Museum, includes sounds recorded around the island, geological facts and figures, film footage of underwater life, and information on the island’s wildlife.

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Pictured: The centre explores the island's geological heritage.

The other key aim of the centre is to show what a Geopark could mean for Jersey, and how people can get involved in it.

Jersey Heritage, the Société Jersiaise, Jersey National Park, Young Archaeologists’ Club, Jersey Biodiversity Centre and the Blue Marine Foundation are already all involved.

Geoparks are areas recognised and designated by UNESCO for their outstanding landscapes, of which there are currently 169 across 44 countries. 

UNESCO’s own website describes the Geoparks as “single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.”

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Pictured: The centre is dotted with facts and figures about Jersey's wildlife.

Millie Butel, Jersey Heritage’s Landscape Engagement and Geopark Development Curator, said: “Jersey is more than just the rock it is made of – our Island is an incredible combination of natural, built and intangible heritage. 

"A Geopark can tell the whole story and, if Jersey is successful in achieving a designation, it will be a statement of commitment to protect the Island we all love and to promote the landscapes, seascapes and heritage that are important to islanders.

“The aim of the Visitor Centre is to introduce the Aspiring Geopark project and encourage people to explore Jersey and discover its stories along the way. 

“The island has been shaped by tide and time over millions of years. Jersey’s exceptional geology and important cultural heritage form the outstanding surroundings we enjoy every day.”

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Pictured: If Jersey were to become a Geopark, it would join 169 others across 44 countries. 

She added: “Every stakeholder organisation is key to the success of the Aspiring Jersey Island Geopark project. As part of the Visitor Centre, the Gardiens have shared their favourite parts of Jersey to highlight some of the reasons why the Island is so special. 

“We hope that people visiting the Centre will be inspired to consider how they are Jersey’s gardiens, and go out to find their own favourite spots and share them with us.”

Hannah Culshaw, Chief Corporate Officer of Saltgate, which is sponsoring the centre, said: “Working towards becoming a Geopark will help Jersey tell our story to the world – it’s a great way to celebrate our environment, boost tourism, and help people connect with the natural world.”

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