The North West Highlands Geopark contains geology and a landscape of world-class quality, significance and importance. There are 5 aspects, which make the Geopark unique : –
- The oldest rocks to be found anywhere in Europe (Lewisian Gneiss) 3 billion years old. These are the “building blocks” of the Geopark and also the “building blocks” of Scotland.
- The “Cradle of Geology” where the thrust structures were first discovered and proved by pioneering Victorian geologists, Benjamin Peach and John Horne. They demonstrated that older rocks could be pushed (thrust) towards, up and over younger rocks and discovered the Moine Thrust, now recognised as the most significant crustal dislocation of its type in North West Europe.
- The Geopark contains the earliest evidence of life to be found anywhere in Europe. These simple-celled algal life forms (stromatolites) occur in Torridian Sandstone rock strata dated at 1.2 billion years old.
- It exhibits a unique relationship between its landscape and the underlying Geology, not seen to such a spectacular degree anywhere else, i.e. “ The landscape is the Geology and the Geology is the landscape”
- A site interpretive to represent the ejecta deposits of a giant meteorite impact around 1.3 billion years ago.