News from the Geopark


15 Jul 2021

Even though this year’s annual English Riviera GLOBAL Geopark Festival was a scaled back version due to COVID restrictions, it still proved a big success. Events were held across our partner sites, including Torre Abbey, Torquay Museum, Cockington Court, Kents Cavern, Artizan Gallery, Brixham Museum and aboard the Vigilance. The event was held from Saturday 29 May till Sunday 3 June 2021.    

More than 100 people attended the Meet the Geologist Event at Torre Abbey, while an art exhibition featuring Geopark Artist Ambassadors at Fleet Walk was averaging 120 people a day over the weekends. Similarly, the Open Boat Day aboard the Vigilance welcomed twenty guided tours, with the organisers even managing to recruit two new volunteers. The three-day Brixham Books and Bards poetry festival at Brixham Museum also proved popular, as did the open-air performances of Illyria Theatre’s Further Adventures of Doctor Doolittle at Cockington.

Of particular interest this year were the geology events run by Taleblazers, a company that combines storytelling with environmental education. At their Meet a Geologist event, they shared rock samples, fossils and maps, while they also hosted a separate geology walk between Oddicombe Beach and Babbacombe Beach that also proved very popular.

One attendee said: “Just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed the Babbacombe and Oddicombe geological walk yesterday evening. I learnt a lot, as we all did, from your hands on approach, and will look at my surroundings differently from now on as a result.  I feel there is a real need for geological enlightenment in the bay; being the first Geopark we have a duty and an honour to really ensure the locals understand the concept and its implications as we move into a sustainable future. I am delighted to hear that you are working with our local schools and instilling an interest in the future generation too. 

Melanie Border, Coordinator English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark said: “We were delighted with how popular the Geopark festival was and with the range and diversity of events on offer. Thank you to all of our partner organisations for coming together during difficult times, to showcase the wonders of the Geopark. Our key message this year is that as restrictions continue to ease and more people start to explore our wonderful open spaces, we all need to do our bit help protect our natural environment. In particular, we can all work together to keep our parks, beaches and coastal paths litter free."