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Nature / Isles retain Global Geopark status

Shetland Geopark's welcome sign at Sumburgh Photo Shetland Amenity Trust

SHETLAND has retained its status as a UNESCO Global Geopark for a further four years.

It comes after an “incredibly intensive” re-assessment process which involved a visit to Shetland in July.

Shetland was awarded Global Geopark status in 2009 in recognition of its “world-class geological heritage and the local effort to conserve, celebrate, and promote it and the connections to all aspects of our nature and culture”.

The isles are one of only two UNESCO Global Geoparks in Scotland, with the title managed locally by Shetland Amenity Trust.

The news was announced at a meeting of UNESCO Global Geoparks Council in Indonesia this week.

Amenity Trust chair Ruth Mackenzie said: “We are delighted that Shetland has been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status once again, subject to final ratification by UNESCO’s member states.

“The reassessment process is incredibly intensive and I would like to thank our team who have put in a huge amount of work to achieve this.

“Our thanks also go to the partners, businesses, and members of the community who got involved in the reassessment process; the assessors were hugely impressed by their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion.”