The Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust began developing the Drifting Apart Project in 2013 and submitted an application in partnership with Magma Geopark in Norway to the European Regional Development Fund’s Northern Periphery Area Programme for one year of preparatory funding to develop the project and full application. This application was successful.
With this preparatory project funding from the European Regional Development Fund CCGHT established a partner group to work on and submit a full application for the Drifting Apart project.
In early 2015 the Northern Peripheries and Arctic Area Programme approved the Drifting Apart Project to begin in May. This project will see partner organisations from six locations working together over the next three years to explore the common geological heritage of the Northern Peripheries area. The focus will be on conservation of sites of geological importance through education and awareness, development of a transnational tourism trail and exploring best practice in terms of geopark development. The first bi-annual Project Meeting was hosted by CCGHT in June 2015. Partners traveled to the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland for two days of intense meetings, to establish project plans, agree key milestones and prepare project inception material.
In December 2015 the second Partner project Meeting was held in Iceland, hosted by Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark. Again representatives from each partner area took part in two days of intense meetings where they reviewed progress, detailed plans for Work Package delivery and agreed the Drifting Apart Storyline which each partner had contributed to over the previous months.
Partners continued to work together via email and Skype developing Workpackages. In late May representatives once again got the chance to get together and discuss the project, making key decisions and commitments. Kenozero National Park, Russia, hosted representatives. During the meeting Kenozero National Park launched their brand new learning room which has been partly funded through the Drifting Apart Project, each project partner will work to develop something similar in their location.