Geopark Management

Comprising 62.4km2 land, 41.5km2 marine area the Geopark boundary reflects that of the Local Authority area.

The terrestrial area is mainly urban or sub-urban in character but approximately 45% of the land remains undeveloped, as either farmland, woodland or other open space.  The coastline is dramatic, thanks to the area's geology, and has played a significant part in the development of the territory.

Tourism is the area's dominant industry, hosting 9 million bednights each year, and employing approximately 15,000 people both directly and indirectly.  The industry also accounts for 13.5% of the area's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  The resident population of 123,000 expands to around 180,000 during the summer months with the influx of tourists.

The English Riviera Geopark Organisation

The English Riviera Geopark Organisation (ERGO) is responsible for the overall coordination and management of the Geopark. The Key agencies concerned with managing Torbay's heritage established this organisation in 2007, which is a formally constituted body charged with overseeing the Geopark.

The aims of ERGO

To co-ordinate the management of the English Riviera Geopark

To promote, support and facilitate, encourage and enable local projects, initiatives and events that help protect and raise awareness of Torbay's geological heritage

To strengthen existing partnerships and develop new networks to ensure that the geological qualities of the English Riviera Geopark are sustained and promoted for current and future generations

Management framework
Our management aims are brought together under three overriding themes and it is these that determine the work program for managing the English Riviera Geopark.

Maintain the ERGO and co-ordinate activities.
Ensure that geosites and other themes and/or sites with links to the geological heritage (archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural) are high on the agenda within the region's economic regeneration framework for sustainable development.
Work within the European Geopark Network to further the network's construction and cohesion in partnership with other European and global geosites.

Site conservation
The UNESCO Global Geopark status imposes no additional legislation over and above that which already exisits.  As such the wealth of geodiversity, biodiversity, marine and cultural heritage sites within the Geopark are managed by the relevant Core Parnters, each with expertise and experience to ensure appropriate conservation, protection and enhancement in accordance with relevant national legislation.  

Education and geotourism
Work with the tourism sector to actively promote economic development through the enhancement of tourism activities linked to the geological heritage.  Encourage and enable access to geosites where this can be achieved sustainably for the benefit of the community.  Support and develop wide-reaching community-based educational and interpretation programmes concerning geosites and the geological heritage.

English Riviera Geopark Management Plan 

To see the English Riviera Geopark Management Plan: Part 1 , Part 2

We have a number of levels at which organisations can become involved in the Geopark.

Geopark Management Group - whereby organisations sign up and adhere to the ERGO constitution and code of conduct, and attend management group meetings. New  group members need to be approved by the existing group members.  To find out more about our management group members follow the link in the menu.

Scientific Support - The Geopark receives the assistance of a wide range of geological experts.  Primarily this support is through Geopark Partner Plymouth University however, the Geopark also works directly with a range of scientific advisors from other academic institutions across the country.  In addition to carrying out direct research projects to increase the understanding of the area, support includes reviewing research proposals, highlighting research potential, advising and assisting with interpretive work, advise on educational development and acting as Geopark ambassadors within the academic world.  

Working Strands (i) site access and conservation (ii) education and community (iii) tourism and marketing (each strand is led by a key figure from the steering group) -

Promotional Partners - local tourism businesses contribute towards the work of the Destination Marketing Organisation, the English Riviera BID Co (Business Improvement District). The ERBidCo fulfils the marketing of the Geopark on a local, regional, national and international level through its strategic documents. 

For more information about the Promotional Partners contact:

English Riviera Tourism Company
5 Vaughan Parade
Torquay, TQ2 5JG
Tel: 01803 296296  email: enquiries@englishrivierabid.co.uk