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What can I do to help geodiversity?


As an individual you may have a favourite geodiversity site which the owner may allow you to manage. You can also campaign for greater recognition of geodiversity conservation with politicians, in the media, or with friends and colleagues. In addition, anyone can join or start a Local Geodiversity group external site (also often known as Regionally Important Geological/Geomorpholigical Sites (RIGS) groups); get involved with a Geopark or Geopark application; or take part in the annual Scottish Geology Festival external site .

Site owners

The success of geodiversity conservation depends on the goodwill of site owners.  If you own a site with an Earth science interest, you can make a major contribution if you manage the site sympathetically and allow access for study.  If you would like to do more or are willing to support site improvements, your help will be warmly welcomed.


As the storehouses of the nation's rock and fossil collections, museums can actively promote responsible fossil and mineral collecting, through interpretive and educational projects external site .


Universities are centres of excellence in Earth sciences and can have an important role in the conservation of sites in their area. Staff and students could participate in Local Geodiversity/RIGS groups external site , with departments providing advice and support for Earth science conservation nation-wide.


Planners and councillors have a vital role in protecting geological and geomorphological sites.  You have an important opportunity to ensure the protection of our geodiversity when preparing development plans and assessing applications for planning permission .  The preparation of a Geodiversity Action Plan will help with this.

Quarry operators

Many important geodiversity sites are in active or disused quarries, and considerate management, following good practice guidance, can help conserve the geodiversity interest. Access to sites by properly equipped researchers, working within agreed safety rules, is vital for the study of Earth science.  But final faces of quarries are often inaccessible or unsafe, making research difficult and dangerous.  Limited smooth blasting and leaving selected parts of the face as five-metre steps can produce ideal study sites with clear and accessible rock faces at little extra cost, especially if this is planned when the interest of the site is realised.  Such conservation initiatives could follow the preparation of a Geodiversity Action Plan .

Landfill operators

Landfill in pits or quarries can bury unique geological features.  Total loss can often be avoided by following good practice guidance including leaving a face clear, but this costs money and has to be properly designed.  Making a financial or practical contribution in this way helps conservation and in some cases Scottish Natural Heritage may be able to assist.

Geologists, Geomorphologists and Soil Scientists

As a specialist you are probably keen to conserve sites.  Here are some of the many ways you can help.

  • Join or start a Local Geodiveristy/RIGS group external site .
  • Give Scottish Natural Heritage the benefit of your knowledge of particular sites - this is invaluable and much appreciated.
  • Always respect the interests of owners when visiting a location. Ask permission to visit and remember time spent explaining the significance of a site and the need for its conservation to owners, planners and other interested groups is never time wasted.
  • Think before you hammer, and sample responsibly. Thoughtless core sampling has disfigured classic outcrops. Leave the site in the condition you found it. Respect others' wish to visit the site and make the same discoveries.


If you wish to become involved in teaching geodiversity, or are a teacher looking for helpful tips and advice on teaching geodiversity, you can contact the Earth Science Teachers' Association external site . You may also find useful resources provided by the Earth Science Education Forum. external site

See also 'General and non-specialist geodiversity publications' for publications suitable for use as geodiversity teaching aids.

'Rockwatch' is the nationwide club for all those age 16 and under who are interested in things geological - rocks, fossils, minerals or landscape. Find out more on the Rockwatch website external site .

Last updated on Friday 26th February 2016 at 14:54 PM. Click here to comment on this page