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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC

A Fresh Perspective on Geodiversity

Julie MacDonald, GiGL Data Officer


The GiGL team represent the partnership and their data at many events throughout the year, from regular London-wide fora to one-off specialist meetings and workshops.

One such specialist workshop I attended earlier in the year was the London Geodiversity Partnership’s (LGP) ‘Overground – underground: London’s geodiversity for London’s people’ event. The current London Geodiversity Action Plan ran from 2009 until this year, so the event provided a timely celebration of the work of the Partnership over the last five years and an opportunity to garner opinions on how best to revise and take forward the London Geodiversity Action Plan.

The event also aimed to spread knowledge of geodiversity in the capital to a wider audience, especially to local authorities. LGP hoped that the event would inspire attendees to find out more about, and to promote, geodiversity in their areas.

GiGL is a member of the LGP but I attended the workshop purely as a member of the eager audience of over fifty.

The event started by outlining the national and regional context of London’s geodiversity. Good practice in geoconservation was then demonstrated by a range of brilliant ten minute snap shot presentations, including one on the geoconservation works undertaken at Riddlesdown Quarry and another on the establishment of an audio trail around the Crystal Palace dinosaurs. It was a great way of showing how much interesting work is already happening. It was then our turn to participate in facilitated discussions.

The Horniman Museum, where the event was hosted, was a fantastic location. Not only is the museum home to a great natural history collection but, from the gardens, guests were treated to one of London’s amazing geological views. These views over the geology of the Thames Basin and its undulating northern and southern slopes, were a topic of great conversation during the afternoon’s discussions. Everyone agreed that the views provide a great educational tool and we were all encouraged to identify the best views, along with links between what we could see and already designated geological sites. As an educational resource these views would be very valuable if they formed part of the geotrails the LGP is already working on.

The LGP is one of London’s great environmental partnerships. Its members are enthusiastic and very knowledgeable and I love learning about our city’s geology through them. I would encourage anyone who can, to hear their call for people to help expand the partnership and further their work. This could be by joining the partnership, by promoting the LGP and their work, by including LGP in other London initiatives, and by helping to identify further geodiversity sites worthy of designation. If you work for a local authority, you can include geological sites in your Local Development Framework, and encourage the public to get involved in their conservation and designation.

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