Members of the public will have a chance to contribute to a unique geological map made from pebbles, which will go on display in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark.
The pebble map build is part of European Geoparks Week, a continent-wide festival which celebrates Geoparks and geological heritage. Between 25 May and 10 June there will be geological themed events in the North Pennines and across the 72 European Geoparks. The first pebbles will be laid by members of the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Discovery Club, an outdoor activity club for children aged four to 11. The Discovery Club Map Makers event takes place on Saturday 25 May at Bowlees Visitor Centre in Upper Teesdale. The map will then be completed by members of the public who can drop in over the course of the weekend. The completed map will show the geological features of the North Pennines, revealing the rock strata which make up this fascinating area.
A fossil-themed Wild Wednesday event at Bowlees on 29 May will also get families involved, along with a temporary geological trail which explores the geology around Bowlees Visitor Centre, running from 25 May to 2 June.
Naomi Foster, Geology Projects Officer at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “We have an exciting programme for European Geoparks Week, and we’re all really looking forward to building the pebble map. It is a great chance for people to become geologists for the day and contribute to this lasting feature for Bowlees Visitor Centre.”
On 1 June the AONB Partnership will be leading a guided walk to Coldberry Gutter, a prominent feature in the landscape of Upper Teesdale. This 8km walk will explore aspects of the local geology, and offer participants an insight into the rich history of lead mining in the North Pennines. Staff will also be supporting a guided walk exploring the landscapes, wildlife and geology of Widdybank Fell in Upper Teesdale on 9 June, hosted in collaboration with Moor House – Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve.
An open day at Nenthead Mines on 26 May will give visitors a chance to explore the geology surrounding the lead mining history of the North Pennines. Visitors will be able to see minerals, artefacts and archive material from the area and take a tour underground led by expert volunteers from Nenthead Mines Conservation Society.
These activities are being delivered as part of the North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Earthworks project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the INTERREG Atlantic Geoparks project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
Earthworks aims to connect visitors to the North Pennines and local people with the area’s world-class geological and mining heritage, through events, art installations, school visits and geological trails. The INTERREG Atlantic Area project is a collaborative effort between UNESCO Global Geoparks and partners in five European countries, helping one another to promote their own and each other’s geological heritage.
Booking is essential for Wild Wednesdays, Discovery Club and guided walks. See www.northpennines.org.uk/eventscalendar for details.