Love the Geopark

by Laura Hamlet in Kylesku, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 5th June 2017 we successfully raised £30,355 with 704 supporters in 56 days

The North West Highlands Geopark, a tiny charity with big UNESCO status urgently needs funds to keep going in 2017.

by Laura Hamlet in Kylesku, Scotland, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We decided to reduce the target from £70,000 to £30,000 as we thought it was more achieveable. With £30,000 we can open the Rock Stop exhibition, café and gift shop for the summer and finish our current project commitments enable core staff to dedicate time to generating income streams. 

 £45k  will allow us to organising events and festivals, developing a membership programme and expand our merchandise offer.

 £70k will allow us to fully develop and implement a new business plan with proper staff resource, rather than relying on volunteer time. 

If you love the North West Highlands, it's landscapes and people and believe it should have UNESCO status, this is the project for you!

 The North West Highlands Geopark is the most incredible place for geologists, rock climbers, outdoor adventurers, walkers, families, school children, university students, tourists, locals, everyone really!

We get no funding at all for core staff, nothing from the Government, Local Authority or anywhere else. We have to raise this ourselves. We have been successfully developing income streams by selling products and services but we have more work to do to get over a gap in our finances. Crowdfunding is our last resort and we really need to raise at least £30,000 to survive.

Geoparks exist to tell the story of our landscape, from deep, geological time to more recent human history. Through this they provide 'something to do' for visitors and locals and high-quality educational materials for every stage of life. They bring no extra regulations to a region, but try to build a sustainable future by encouraging everyone to be good stewards of our natural and cultural resources. 

Our Geopark has UNESCO status!

A UNESCO Global Geopark is to landscapes and geology what World Heritage Sites are to history and archaeology. There's one big difference though, World Heritage Sites are proposed to be added to the list by the national government but Geoparks are set up and managed by their local communities.

It's the people who live here that were the first to recognise how special the region is and the first to approach UNESCO for accreditation.

It's down to a lot of hard work on the ground; promoting our region, putting on activities, writing interpretation, opening a visitor centre and loads more that makes us a UNESCO Global Geopark. Every four years we get assessed on the quality of our tourism, education program and regional economic development to ensure we meet world class standards. 

But - we have a problem.

We need your help and support to keep our Geopark running and be able to keep the services which we provide going.

Without the staff to do the work, we won't be able to continue with our projects which means we can't upgrade the exhibition, make our guidebook,  run our guided walks etc etc.  This will in turn jeopardise our UNESCO status as we will be assessed in 2019 and if we haven't helped to develop tourism, education and conservation in our Geopark we won't be fulfilling the function of a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Unlike World Heritage Sites, Geoparks are evaluated every 4 years and can lose their status if they aren't playing a useful role. 

In 2017 we plan to upgrade our visitor centre with Virtual Reality exhibits allowing you to Explore Deep Time and visit parts of the Geopark you might not otherwise get to. We have produced more Pebble Routes for you to drive or cycle and learn about the landscape. We're putting on weekly guided walks and planning a big Geo-heritage festival for October to go with our Climbing Festival and Earth Science Week. All this in addition to the soil fertility research we're doing with the University of Stirling and Ullapool High School. We have all the project funding to do this, but we need your support to ensure our core activities (staff, office and day to day running costs) are fully funded. 

We are a charity and pay our core staff using a mixture of donations and product sales. Currently we have enough to last us until May so things really are urgent.

Please pledge what you can, then come visit us!

You'll be amazed at the depth of time recorded in the rocks, the breath-taking horizons and white sandy beaches. We have three-billion years of our planet's history to explore here and island mountains carved by recent Ice Ages.

Visit on your own to really feel the sense of being in the most sparsely populated region in Western Europe or bring the family on one of our guided walks. There's something for everyone at our visitor centre, the Rock Stop, enjoy free wifi with some tea and cake and learn about the evolution of the landscapes you can see right outside. See how Scotland is connected through its geology and the global geoparks network to the rest of the world.

Why should we care about UNESCO?


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Receive an I Love my Geopark car sticker

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Entry to prize draw to win some fantastic items from around the North Highlands of Scotland.

£35 or more

£35 Reward

Pebble Route pack - 6 driving routes in a presentation wallet.

£40 or more

7 of 50 claimed

£40 Reward

Become a Geo-Guardian! A limited edition supporters certificate for your office.

£50 or more

47 of 100 claimed

£50 Reward

Receive a sponsorship pack including a pin-badge, car sticker and set of Pebble Routes.

£60 or more

£60 Reward

A mounted print of the mountain scene used as our Crowdfunder photo of the Assynt and Coigach Hills.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Gold Sponsor Pack: Set of Pebble Routes, a pin badge, a car sticker and a mounted print of the crowdfunder mountain scene.

£150 or more

1 of 3 claimed

£150 Reward

Book the Rock Stop for a party! An evening of entertainment including a talk from one of our staff. Catering including a special geology themed cake can be provided but is not included with this reward.

£1,500 or more

£1,500 Reward

Sponsor our Augmented Reality sandbox exhibit in the Rock Stop!

£1,500 or more

£1,500 Reward

Matchfund our John Muir Trust grant and know that you have made a huge difference to our Geopark.

£3,000 or more

0 of 6 claimed

£3,000 Reward

Sponsor a Geopod ...what's a geopod?

£5,000 or more

£5,000 Reward

Have your logo on the Rock Stop's Welcome board. We got 8000 visitors in 2016, up 100% on 2015 - so predicting even greater numbers for 2017!

£10,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£10,000 Reward

Sponsor the North West Highlands Geopark Guidebook!

£15,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£15,000 Reward

Sponsor the Geo-heritage festival held at the park. This would include having your company logo on all publicity material.

£10 or more

50 of 50 claimed

£10 Reward

Receive a Geopark pinbadge

£100 or more

5 of 5 claimed

£100 Reward

Get your business logo on the Geopark staff uniform

£200 or more

3 of 3 claimed

£200 Reward

A day out with a Geo-ranger. Climb the hill of your choice or come for a drive in the landscape. Tailored just for your interests. Up to 2 people

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