North West Highlands Geopark

BY David Doig Foundation

North West Highlands Geopark are a charity based in Lairg, focussing on advancing environmental protection, education, heritage, community development and recreation across the outstanding geodiversity in western Sutherland and Wester Ross. 

The charity has been awarded a grant from the David Doig Foundation towards the costs of an educational specialist to develop their work with schools, young people, and lifelong learning. This is their first award from the Foundation. They’ll be aiming to develop learning packs for local schools and establish a new after-school Young Geologists Club to be developed in collaboration with local schools and national organisations such as Rockwatch and the Geological Society.  They aim to help local young people and the wider community make the most of the many natural and cultural assets accessible to visitors - especially along the coast. They’ve identified a need for this sort of work in collaboration with local schools, as many schools in the area have limited capacity to run something themselves but recognise the opportunities that could be available to young people due to their unique surroundings. The charity is continuing to develop this programme and the role this grant will support, with a view to longer term sustainability in future. 

It is hoped that the work supported by the grant will allow local young people and the wider community to connect with their natural environment and build new skills and experience in the process. This will help them not only understand and protect the area, but also build an interest in future development, training, and employment in the sector. 

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