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Shetland gains global geopark status

SHETLAND’s ancient rocks received global recognition yesterday (Wednesday) when the isles were accepted as a member of the worldwide geopark network.

Shetland Amenity Trust chairman Brian Gregson was invited to Malaysia this week to give a presentation on the isles’ geological diversity to the 4th international UNESCO conference on Geoparks (IGC) in Langkawi.

During the conference delegates took part in a programme of field trips, workshops, presentations and business meetings.

One of the presentations was given by Mr Gregson, who spoke about Shetland’s journey to gaining European Geopark status.

Mr Gregson said that more than 400 delegates from all over the world had been at the six day conference.

“The entire conference has been very useful.  I have learned a lot about how other Geoparks work and made a lot of contacts.

My presentation was very well received and it was great to have the opportunity to present Geopark Shetland on a global platform.

Lots of delegates showed an interest in working with, and visiting, Geopark Shetland and I’m sure I will be hearing from many of them in the future,” he said.

Geologists say that Shetland’s rocks, some of which are three billion years old, tell an amazing tale not just about Shetland, but how the world itself has formed and changed.

It is hoped that gaining global geopark status will further raise the profile of Shetland’s geology on an international level.