Anglesey officially celebrated its success in gaining Global and European Geopark status at Oriel Ynys Môn, Llangefni, on Friday November 6th, 2009. Speakers at the event included GeoMôn Patrons the Marquess of Anglesey, and his wife Lady Anglesey, (who is pictured third from left , top photograph), Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, (speaking to the left), and County Council Leader, Cllr Clive McGregor.
The Geoparks Founding Director, Dr. Margaret Wood and her team of supporters, worked towards gaining Geopark status for more than five years. Margaret (pictured third from right, front row ), first thought of the benefits for Anglesey when she finished the RIGS survey of Anglesey and North Wales, which included many sites which could be used for recreation, education, and research. Making Anglesey a Geopark seemed to be the answer:
“Had i known how much work and dissappointment there would be along that route I probably would never have contemplated the effort. There have been many trials, tribulations and dissapointments along our path but the sheer encouragement, hard work and support from members of the project team, and our partners, kept us all focused and each dissapointment actually strengthened our resolve to get the status we felt the island deserved.”
And so, it was with enormous pride and thanks to all, on behalf of everyone, that Margaret walked up onto the stage at Naturtejo Geopark, Portugal, to recieve the Certificate of Membership of the European Geopark Network (EGN) and Global Geopark Network (GGN, UNESCO) from the President of the National Commission of UNESCO on the 15th September, 2009. This certificate and copies, were were offered for display at Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey, and presented to the Isle of Anglesey County Council, Countryside Council for Wales and Menter mon.
County Council Business Development Manager, Jon Pinnington, said, "Geology tells us the story of our planet over a staggering 4,500 million years. An important part of this story is told right here on Anglesey. Geotourism is a fast developing market across the world and this designation gives us the opportunity to promote Anglesey as a fascinating place to discover the earth's past."
Economic Development and Tourism portfolio holder, Councillor Bryan Owen, added, "Geopark status fits in well with our promotion of the Island as a place with a stunning, unspoilt natural environment and our geological heritage will now be promoted worldwide. With the support of the European Geopark network we now have the potential to develop geo-tourism as an added dimension to Anglesey's rich tourism product."
Jon Pinnington of ioACC plays the Adufe. This traditional musical instrument from Portugal, was a gift from Naturtejo Geopark.
Unfortunately, nobody thinks to bring a supply of earplugs!
I would like to congratulate GeoMôn for achieving membership of the European Geopark Network and the Global Geopark Network and I was pleased to join the organisation at their celebratory event at Oriel Môn today.
I would like to congratulate in particular the project management team for their hard work in achieving this prestigious designation and I will support them in any way that I can as they capitalise on the opportunities to develop the geopark and to do everything that I can to ensure that they are placed on a sound foundation for future.
Ieuan Wyn Jones
Deputy First Minister