Geoconservation on Anglesey

The Anglesey Geodiversity Partnership (AGP) was set up in 2005 with the twin aims of delivering the Anglesey Local Geodiversity Action Plan (LGAP) and achieving geopark status. At its core was the Gwynedd & Môn RIGS group, supported by Countryside Council for Wales [now Natural Resources Wales]  and the Isle of Anglesey County Council. Letters of support were received from key politicians in local government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Westminster Member of Parliament. Other organisations also indicated their support including British Geological Survey, British Nuclear Group (which then ran Wylfa Power station and its visitor centre) and Bangor University.

The Anglesey Local Geodiversity Action Plan is a review of all the information available about Anglesey’s geodiversity and an audit of potentially important sites. The role of LGAPs in Wales is explained by Burek (2012). The Anglesey LGAP was the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund to develop a methodology for site recording and evaluation leading to the mapping of over 200 Gwynedd and Môn sites (Wood et al, 2007a; 2007b). Designated Regionally Important Geosites (RIGS) sites were notified to the Isle of Anglesey County Council and feature in their planning processes. This was a first step to raising awareness amongst the local community at all levels, involving local and national politicians.

Applying for Geopark status involved documenting the geology and the landscape as well as all features of “Geoheritage” – a term that can include any use of the geodiversity and in Anglesey’s case this included the soil diversity building on an earlier RIGS project to provide educational soil science for school fieldwork (Conway, 2006); the resulting book covered North Wales but provided the impetus to develop a soil trail around the Anglesey coastline as detailed at a UNESCO conference.

Anglesey was recognised as a European Geopark in 2009 and a Global Geopark in 2010 under the name GeoMôn [combining Geo from geology with Môn the Welsh name for Anglesey]. In 2015 GeoMôn was recognised by UNESCO as GeoMôn UNESCO Global Geopark with equivalent status to a World Heritage Site.

Public sector organisations can use the title and its logos in the exact form seen at the head of GeoMôn’s letters. No commercial business can use these logos but we encourage  them to subscribe to the aims and objectives of the geopark and to become official supporters of GeoMôn.

References

Conway, J S, 2006   Soils in the Welsh landscape: (a field-based approach to the study of soil in the landscapes of North Wales) / Priddoedd yn Nhirwedd Cymru (dull ar raddfa maes o astudio pridd yn nhirweddau Gogledd Cymru).  Seabury Salmon and Associates (bilingual)

Greenly E, 1919 Geology of Anglesey, Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain (2 vols), Geological Survey of Great Britain, HMSO, London

Henslow J, 1822 Geological Description of Anglesea, J Smith, Cambridge

Wood, M, 2007 Application dossier for nomination to the European Geopark Network (unpublished), GeoMôn Anglesey Geopark

Wood, M 2012 The Historical Development of the term melange and its relevance to the Precambrian geology of Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales, UK. The 100’s significant Exposures of the World, Japanese Journal of Geography 7, 168-180

Wood, M and Nicholls, G D, 1973 Precambrian stromatolites from Northern Anglesey.  Nature 241, 65

Wood, M, Campbell, S, Roberts, R, Brenchley P, Conway, J S, Crossley, R, Davies, J, Fitches, B, Mason, J, Matthews, B, Treagus, J, and Williams, T, 2007a Developing a methodology for selecting Regionally Important Geodiversity Sties (RIGS) in Wales and a RIGS survey of Anglesey and Gwynedd.  Volume 1: Methodology.  Report to Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff

Wood, M, Campbell, S, Roberts, R, Brenchley P, Conway, J S, Crossley, R, Davies, J, Fitches, B, Mason, J, Matthews, B, Treagus, J, and Williams, T,  2007b Developing a methodology for selecting Regionally Important Geodiversity Sites (RIGS) in Wales and a RIGS survey of Anglesey and Gwynedd.  Volume 2: Site Survey.  Report to Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff

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