English riviera: Global geopark

Designated: 2015

Description

The English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark is situated within the stunning, rolling hills on the south coast of Devon, southern England.

Unique in Western Europe, the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark is geologically renowned for its 350-400 million year old Marine Devonian limestones of great historical importance. The rich faunas yielded by these rocks were used, in part, to characterize the original Devonian System of the pioneering geologists Sedgwick and Murchison which was named after Devon the county within which the Geopark is situated. In addition, excellent exposures of classic desert sandstone and breccia in the 300-250 million years old Permian “Red Bed” sequences are recorded. The limestones themselves also include important Quaternary karstic features such as Kents Cavern. Pengelly’s excavations of the caves in the nineteenth century influenced public opinion worldwide as to the antiquity of man.

Encompassing the entire area of Torbay, including the three towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham the boundary of the UNESCO Global Geopark follows that of Torbay Council Unitary boundary.

Website references

Visited

Yes – passing through. But one to explore.

Postcards

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Isle of Man: biosphere reserve

Designated: 2016

Description: Located in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is home to more than 80,000 people. Its coastline features cliffs, stacks, islets and long beaches, while the hills hold important peat reserves and are deeply cut by wooded glens in the east. Grasslands, pools and wetlands cover the coastal plain to the north of the island. The site’s marine environment is rich in biodiversity and harbours large populations of European eel, Atlantic cod and basking sharks, among others. The sea surrounding the island is harvested for shellfish.

In the countryside, farming activities centre on sheep and cattle livestock, as well as arable areas. The island has been a popular tourist destination since the late nineteenth century and has experienced a notable development in services and manufacturing sectors over recent decades.

It is the first entire island nation to be given the UNESCO biosphere designation.

Website references

Visited?
Yes, many times. A photo album from a recent holiday is on flickr.

Postcards

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