The unique landscapes of the Geopark have presented many issues and challenges for the people that have lived here. However, they have also greatly contributed to the extraordinary diversity of settlers that have called this area their home.
Our UNESCO Global Geopark has a history of human settlement that dates back over 10,000 years – a near continuous history of settlement. Throughout this time there have been so many varying communities, all with different abilities, needs and experiences. However, they all have one thing in common. Every community that has dwelled within the Geopark has been influenced and dependent on the wonderful natural landscapes around them.
UNESCO Global Geoparks are not just solely about geology, they are fundamentally about people. Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark celebrates the links between humanity and the landscape in which they live and work. We want to encourage people to understand, explore and celebrate the ties between our communities and their heritage. We want to engage with local communities to ensure that they understand the ethos of the Geopark and are proud to be a part of it. It is vital that communities are heard and that their suggestions and contributions are integrated into our development plans and aspirations. We strive to build strong, cohesive community connections and provide opportunities for communities to fully participate and engage with the Geopark. Equally, we strive to empower individuals within communities to act as ambassadors and champions of the Geopark, both within their local communities and with visitors. At present our Geopark guides are a pivotal link to our Geopark communities, and we are devoted to continuing to nurture this connection.
With an abundance of unique natural, and cultural heritage throughout the Geopark, it is extremely important to not only conserve this area for generations to come but also to educate those living and visiting the area.
It is hoped that when people visit sites within the Geopark that they enjoy the wonderful, natural environment and connect with the landscape. One way we encourage this is through our cohort of almost 30 Geopark Guides.
The Geopark established a group of Geopark Ambassadors in 2011. This group are crucial to the delivery of our engagement programme within west Cavan. With their on-going support, assistance, and enthusiasm, we are able to deliver a truly diverse programme to engage with locals and visitors alike.
In 2020, the Geopark worked in partnership with the Lough Erne Landscape Partnership through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to roll out a Co-ordinated Education Training Programme to enable the creation of a network of 20 Heritage Champions.
Our Geopark Ambassadors and Heritage Champions act as an important conduit for meaningful community engagement within the Geopark. It provides an opportunity for new community based sustainable tourism projects and initiatives to be developed and most significantly ensures that local people have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to ensure that the unique and special landscapes of the Geopark are understood, interpreted, and celebrated by all for many generations to come.
With their on-going support and assistance over the years, they have enabled Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark to operate a truly diverse and exciting programme of activities and experiences allowing locals and visitors alike to explore, enjoy and learn more about the Geopark and its unique heritage.
An awe-inspiring trail of magnificent destinations awaits you right along the ep...