2021 was a busy year for us in the North West Highlands Geopark!
The past year has been packed with interesting project activities and some of our longer term projects finally drawing to a close. We were delighted early in the year to close out our resilient heritage project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which has allowed us to see some transformational changes to our organisation and the way it works. This has allowed our organisation to level up and built capacity for our directors and staff to work much more effectively. We were also successful in two rounds of Better Places funding, provided by NatureScot which allowed us to conduct research into geotourism, consult with the Durness community and produce a suite of visitor information tools such as our new touring leaflet and interactive maps. We also welcomed Fraser (Pictured Right) as our seasonal ranger, Alison as our new administrator, and Jonathan as our project officer.
We were able to publish our first walker’s guidebook, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Garfield Weston and Scottish Wildlife Trust. Now available in local bookshops and our online shop. We have worked with primary school children on the Scottish Geology Festival’s beach pebble events thanks to funding from the Scottish Geology Trust and we have surveyed young people in the northern end of the Geopark to establish what their needs are for future activities and engagement. We were also able to publish our guide to Identifying Fertile Soils in Coigach and Assynt thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the University of Stirling. Among our project activities we have also played our part in shaping the UNESCO National Trail for Scotland, the North West 2045 Vision project and the Regional Land Use Partnership Pilot as part of our efforts to develop social and economic benefits as well as environmental conservation for the region.
Of course, none of these activities would have been possible without the volunteer support from our Board and Working groups, Friends of the Geopark and the new Ambassadors and Supporters Networks. Together we form a strong collaboration, working towards our shared vision for the North West Highlands to become a thriving and sustainable rural economy capitalising on the assets and people of the Geopark in partnership with local government, relevant agencies and local businesses.
You can read more about 2021 in our annual report.
Our Christmas 2021 newsletter is available here.