Geodiversity Action Plans are being produced throughout England. They identify what is important in terms of an area's geology and fossils. They seek to find means of identifying ways of promoting greater awareness of these, sometimes hidden, important regional and national sites. Locally produced by various organizations, usually co-ordinated by a local museum or geology trust, they act as a focus for the promotion of Earth Heritage conservation in its many forms. Local GAPs (LGAPs) are steadily being drafted, issued and updated in almost every area of the country. The Isle of Wight LGAP went on-line for the first time in 2010 and is now available to be downloaded from this webpage.
Why produce an LGAP?
LGAPs are being developed to provide a framework for the delivery of geoconservation. LGAPs are, in part, developed from the model of Biodiversity Action Plans and have adopted the process of setting clear aims and objectives, with measurable targets, for local geoconservation.
This approach can provide:
(from the Natural England website).
The production of most LGAPs results in a local LGAP Partnership who work together to produce and implement the Plan, and this is also the case on the Isle of Wight. With a wide range of LGAPs being produced by partnerships that include local authorities, geological trusts, education centres and various companies (for example aggregate extraction, quarrying and mining operations) the scope for a truly integrated approach to promoting and conserving an areas important earth heritage may be achieved. At a national level attempts are being made to consolidate the output of these many plans into a National Geodiversity Action Plan (the 'National GAP').
The Isle of Wight LGAPThe primary function of the Isle of Wight Local Geodiversity Action Plan (IW LGAP) is to formulate a strategy to promote the Isle of Wight through the conservation and sustainable development of its Earth Heritage.The initial research work, and early meetings with partners, took place during 2004. A paper LGAP was produced in draft form in early 2005. The project was led by staff at Dinosaur Isle; with the draft document, and actions, agreed with a number of partners who joined the IW LGAP Partnership.
Initial funding for the project came from the I.W. Council and English Nature (now Natural England).The work is being co-ordinated by Dinosaur Isle under its remit "to be a national centre for excellence in the conservation, display and interpretation of the Island's dinosaurs and diverse geological heritage".
During August 2009 a second, updated and substantially extended, draft version was produced and circulated to the original partners and other groups for review. The new document was produced by Dinosaur Isle with substantial input from the Isle of Wight Centre for the Coastal Environment (both are IW Council departments). The academic citation for the document reflects this joint authorship.Following this further consultation with our partners a number of comments were received and incorporated in the new version prior to going online for the first time during March 2010.The IW LGAP is a working document. It will be reviewed and re-issued at appropriate intervals. To reduce the amount of paper produced with a traditional document the primary source will now be online.
During the 1970s the former Museum of Isle of Wight Geology (now replaced by Dinosaur Isle Museum) became a Record Centre as part of the National Scheme for Geological Site Documentation.Later, during the 1990's a small number of important local geological sites were identified by the former Museum as Regionally Important Geological / Geomorphological Sites (RIGS).RIGS statements were produced for these sites because they fell outside of the protection offered by the identification of many classic geological and palaeontological areas on the Island otherwise listed as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Initially of limited distribution, the goal is to make the RIGS documents available on-line during 2010. The original documents are also in the process of being reviewed and updated. When new versions are ready they will be made available for download from this webpage. An additional RIGS-related action within the LGAP is to assess potential additional sites. Any new RIGS statement will also be added to this website.
"Sharing good practice - working today for nature tomorrow".
The Island's geology is best seen in the extensive cliff exposures around the Island. The collection of fossils and research into the geology has been dependent on how the coastline has been managed over the last two hundred years. The new Isle of Wight Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) describes proposals for managing coastal flooding and erosion for the next one hundred years. To access the new version of this plan (SMP2) click here.
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