Transnational Visitor Trail
Over three years a transnational visitor trail was developed. This trail is composed of a story line, many varied forms of interpretation and visitor centres.
The story line captures the geological heritage of the partnership area focusing on the opening and closing of the ancient Iapetus Ocean and draws on geological evidence which provides evidence that at one time or other all partner areas were connected and have since drifted apart. The story line which was developed by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland is available on the main project website and has been produced with the general public and amateur geologists in mind. www.driftingapart.ccght.org/drifting-apart-story/
Best practice interpretation guidelines were developed by Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark and updated throughout the project to include examples of the high quality interpretation produced by partners. The transnational visitor trail itself is built from a varied mix of signage, infrastructure, literature, trails and virtual trails. Partners used the Story line to select sites and develop text. Over sixty sites are included in the trail.
Trail interpretation and geo-centers are targeted to the general public, tourists, education groups and local businesses all of whom can benefit from the information and increased amenity resource.
Geopark Sustainable Management Model and Toolkit
Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark developed a sustainable management model for Geoparks as well as establishing a peer to peer training program. Geoparks are an established management mechanism which has education, community and environmental management at its core. These core values are in line with Drifting Apart and the NPAs aspirations.
To develop the sustainable management model and toolkit Stonehammer consulted the partnership, relevant bodies and undertook research with the University of New Brunswick. An electronic survey was conducted at the Global Geoparks Network Conference 2016, Torquay England and was circulated throughout the network. This confirmed that no one model of Geopark management existed, instead focusing on key ethos, issues and opportunities management guidance could be provided.
Peer to peer mentoring scheme for existing and aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks was established. This increased the transnational nature of Drifting Apart and the relationships between partners.
Go to http://driftingapart.ccght.org/ to download the toolkit and find out more.
Virtual Reality Scanning and Modelling
Magma UNESCO Global Geopark guided all partners in to innovative technologies to develop a virtual reality platform that showcases the outstanding and shared geology of the project area. Virtual reality technologies were used to record key locations such as watersheds, cliff sides, abandoned quarries and coastal locations. These were processed and enhanced with information such as text, images, sounds and videos. The platform created is called GeoVR.
The Drifting Apart Virtual Reality world is available on phone, tablet, computer or using immersive oculus rift goggles.
Geotourism and Geoeducation
Literature based on the Drifting Apart Storyline and key geological principles was developed for schools, businesses and communities by Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark and CCGHT and used by all Drifting Apart partners. The literature is targeted at the different needs of each group and each partner has adapted material to include regional examples and reflect individual national curriculums.
Education material introduce appropriate geology and earth science concepts and support teachers with accompanying notes and pupil activities. The project website houses these education materials, available electronically as pdf.. Teacher training was delivered as well. Training sessions for businesses and community groups were delivered and training literature produced.
Check out Toolkits on http://driftingapart.ccght.org/ for these documents