New geodiversity charter is a world first

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The importance of Scotland’s rocks, minerals, sediments and soils, and the forces that formed them across three billion years, are recorded in the world’s first geodiversity charter, which has been unveiled.

The publication of Scotland’s Geoversity Charter has been welcomed by GeoHeritage Fife, whose chairman, Richard Batchelor, attended its launch.

Stewart Stevenson, MSP, minister for the environment and climate change, said at the ceremony: ”Geological diversity is often taken for granted, but it is key to our environment and our quality of life - the importance of its sustainable management should not be underestimated.”

Richard Batchelor, of the Department of Earth Sciences at St Andrews University, founded the GeoHeritage Fife charity 12 years ago to publicise the Kingdom’s geological heritage, to provide educational resources and to promote geotourism.

The group has published eight leaflets, built a geological wall in St Andrews, re-created a Jurassic Garden and, in 2010, was instrumental in procuring a plaster cast of 330 million-year-old fossilised giant scorpion tracks considered at risk of erosion and vandalism.

Two years ago the charity organised a successful competition which encouraged the public to photograph rock formations from an artistic perspective. Its next major intitiative is the publication of a book about the building stones of St Andrews.

Anyone with an interest in geodiversity can contact the group by e-mail at geoheritagefife@btinternet.com or telephone 01334 828623.