A whole calendar of events have been lined up for this year’s Geopark festival held between 28 May and 5 June and will allow all the family to enjoy, explore and experience everything that makes our Geopark unique.

Come rain or shine there will be a wide range of fun indoor and outdoor activities. Whether you are interested in getting creative, competitive or being courageous there is something for everyone and a fun packed schedule awaits.

The programme has everything from arts and crafts to walks and trails and includes events such as; Occombe Beer Festival as all Geoparks celebrate local food and drink, a Geoplay Day and the fantastic Paignton Geoplay Park , Stone age games at Kents Cavern, detective trails and geological and historical craft making at the Museums around the Bay.

As per usual some events will need to be booked in advanced due to a limited amount of spaces. Many of our programme events are free or have a small fee and standard entry prices may apply.

Event venues include; Kents Cavern, Torbay Museum, Brixham Museum, Torquay Library, Torre Abbey, Cockington, Occombe Farm, Goodrington and many more.

The English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark has gone from strength to strength and in September, supported by Torbay Council and the TDA, Torbay will welcome over 800 international delegates to the 7th International UNESCO Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Geopark Coordinator Melanie Border said “The last year really has been an exciting time for the Geopark. UNESCO formally recognising all of the Global Geoparks around the world and we won the bid to host the international conference this September. Delegates from over 35 countries are already booked to attend.

“This year’s festival kicks off a vast range of events, activities, schools engagement and volunteering opportunities for all ages leading up to the conference. Our hope is that this will really raise the profile of the Geopark across the bay and help everyone understand it.

“Geoparks are not just about rocks. They are about the community that lives within them and so it would be wonderful if lots of local people engage with and find out more about this incredible international status.

“You can get involved with the conference. As part of the festival week, come along to the Palace Theatre on Wed 1 June at 6pm to get involved with the conference Opening Ceremony. So if you enjoy singing, dancing, treading the boards, fancy joining Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and like the idea of performing in front of an international audience come along or contact doorstep@gmail.com”

Nick Powe, chair of the Geopark said: “The natural environment is the greatest asset the English Riviera has and the Geopark Festival is a great way to find out more about the Torbay’s Geopark status by coming along to these events.”

For more details about the festival and to find out more about Torbay’s unique UNESCO Global Geopark Status log on to www.englishrivierageopark.org.uk or pick up a festival leaflet from one of the Geopark partners . To find out about other UNESCO Global Geoparks around the world visit www.globalgeopark.org

ENDS –
NOTES TO EDITOR
1) For further information on filming or for any other interview or photography requests in the English Riviera Global Geopark contact:
o Melanie Border, Geopark Coordinator on +44 1803 207358 or email: m.border@englishrivierageopark.org.uk
o Nick Powe, Chair of the English Riviera Global Geopark Organisation on +44 7973 746383 or email nickpowe@kents-cavern.co.uk
2) For more information about the Global Geoparks Network www.globalgeopark.org

3) The 7th International Conference on Global Geoparks takes place 27-30 September 2016 in Torquay. More information at www.ggn2016.com or from david@ggn2016.com
FACTS AND FIGURES

1) Torbay was awarded Global Geopark status by UNESCO in 2007 when it became the first urban Global Geopark. The designation, awarded to just 120 places in the World, recognises areas that not only have outstanding geology but who use that heritage to bring about benefits to the local community, both economically and socially.

2) Since 2007 the English Riviera Global Geopark status has indirectly resulted in major inward investment projects in Torbay including the geological themed children’s GeoPlay park in Paignton, the Geopark Cycle Trail and the new facilities at Berry Head.

3) The area’s geology began 400 million years ago at the bottom of a warm tropical seas, south of the equator and is characterised by the Devonian (headlands at Berry Head and Hopes Nose), Permian (Paignton and Maidencombe) and the Quaternary (Ancient human occupation at Kents Cavern).

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