Lochaber Aspiring Geopark hosted the fourth Drifting Apart partner steering group meeting in Fort William, Scotland. All partners were represented at the meeting which happened in late November.
These bi-annual meetings provide project managers in the the Causeway Coast and Heritage Trust time to review progress, address outstanding issues and outline upcoming deadlines. Project partners are invited to update on their specific projects and all partners use the time to discuss project delivery ideas, challenges faced as well as opportunities outside of the project.
While in Fort William the group were invited to visit Lochaber Aspiring Geopark’s new visitor centre on the towns High Street over lunch. The visitor centre houses information panels and literature, locally sourced products for sale and a relief of the local landscape which illustrates the underlying geology. This landscape relief has been commended by visually impaired visitors who appreciated being able to get a sense of the local landscape.
Drifting Apart guests were also shown some of Lochaber Aspiring Geoparks notable geosites including the Parallel Roads in Glencoy which indicate that ice sheets once created a dammed lake in the large valley. Over many years wave action on the lakes edges eroded the valley side creating small foreshores and as the water level rose and fell. Eventually the extensive ice sheets melted freeing the water trapped in the valley system which flooded the land and flowed to sea level.
Andrew and Nikki from CCGHT held a short practical session on 360 filming outside the meeting location. All partners will use the filming equipment to capture sites of geological interest in their areas for a virtual reality project which will see geology in the Drifting Apart area brought to life.
Kateryna McKinnon is European Manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is the Northern Periphery and Arctic Progammes regional contact in Scotland. Ms McKinnon joined the Drifting Apart meeting on the second day, taking the opportunity to meet the three Scottish partners involved in the project; Shetland Amenity Trust, North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark and our host partner, Lochaber Aspiring Geopark, and hear more about our current work and aspirations to continue the partnership beyond 2018. Ms McKinnon provided the project with feedback and an overview of possible further funding opportunities. Nikki from the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust will investigate available funding opportunities and present the most suitable options to partners.