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Trust marks Geopark anniversary

SHETLAND Amenity Trust is planning a series of walks, talks and courses during September as part of the annual Scottish Geology Festival.

The islands’ geology was recognised internationally when Shetland became the first island group to join the European and global Geopark networks last year.

Now to coincide with the Scotland-wide festival the trust wants to celebrate the anniversary of achieving Geopark status.

Events will kick off with local geologist Allan Fraser running a two day introductory course to Shetland’s geology on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September. This course is suitable for everyone – no prior knowledge is required, although experienced geologists are welcome.

Saturday will focus on the Moine and Dalradian rocks of the central mainland, while Sunday will explore recently drowned landscapes and the igneous rocks of Northmavine.

Transport is provided with walks of up to two kilometres to specific locations. The cost of attending this course is £40. Spaces are limited so booking is essential.

Later in the month Jonathan Swale of Scottish Natural Heritage will be speaking on geological matters at the Burravoe Hall in Yell on 16 September and at Hoswick Visitor Centre a week later.

The talks will illustrate the geological development of Shetland over nearly three billion years and provide an insight into the geology of the local areas. Both talks will begin at 7.30pm.  The events are free to attend and no booking is required.

Meanwhile two guided walks are planned at Eshaness and on Fetlar, each taking between two and three hours. Booking is essential

The amenity trust’s geology project officer Robina Barton will be leading the journey through the stunning volcanic landscape of Eshaness on 11 September, meeting at 2pm at the Eshaness lighthouse

The following Saturday she will be on Fetlar to take people on a journey across an ancient sea floor, and visit the awe inspiring evidence for past continental collisions, meeting at 2pm at the Loch of Funzie.

Finally Mr Fraser will lead a geological tour through the remains of a desert environment that existed at Shetland’s south mainland some 400 million years ago.

This will take place on Saturday 25 September, meeting at 9am at the Shetland Museum and Archives car park. Transport is provided to a number of key locations with an expected return at 5pm. There is a £15 charge for this event and booking is essential.

To book any of these events contact Shetland Amenity Trust on 01595 69 4688.