19 February 2024

Past Climates training for Geopark Guides and Ambassadors

Media Release

A series of special training sessions will be held later this month for Geopark Guides and Ambassadors to learn more about the Island’s fascinating early geological story dating back to the Ice Age and beyond.

Organised by the Aspiring Jersey Island Geopark (AJIG) project, the free training will be led by geologist and researcher Dr Yunus Baykal, from Uppsala University in Sweden, in Jersey on Tuesday and Wednesday, 27-28 February.

He will deliver the training to a group of 12 that will include Geopark Guides and Ambassadors, as well as staff from the Government’s Department of Environment. They will be based at Jersey Archive but will also spend time out in the field at Belcroute and Portelet Bay, for example looking at raised beaches that are hundreds of thousands of years old.

Yunus is part of a multi-disciplinary team who are investigating the Island’s climate and landscape history as part of the ‘Past Climates of Jersey’ project. During the training for AJIG, he will share the background to climate change during the Quaternary (a period of geological history that started 2.6 millions of years ago, including the Ice Age); the main changes and trends and how these affected Jersey; the primary Quaternary sites in Jersey and what they can tell us about the Island’s past; and the results of the ‘Past Climates of Jersey’ project so far.

Millie Butel, Landscape Engagement and Geopark Development Curator, said: “The training will provide a fantastic opportunity for our Geopark Guides and Ambassadors, and the others taking part in the course, to learn more about the story of the Island’s climate and the changes that occurred during the Ice Age. As well as hearing from an expert geologist, they will be heading out into the landscape to view the evidence that remains today of this fascinating geological time in the Island’s history. We already know that Jersey’s beautiful, natural heritage offers exciting future prospects for tourism development and we hope the training will inspire our Guides and Ambassadors to share their newfound knowledge with the public and on future tours and geowalks.”

Geopark Ambassadors are people within the community who are passionate about the AJIG project, which is working towards securing the prestigious UNESCO Global Gepark status for the Island. The Geopark Guides are certified Jersey guides who have signed up to be part of the project’s work, which includes working with different areas of the community on the development of a geotourism offering for Jersey, as well as increased access to sites of geological interest, where possible.Yunus is returning to Jersey having previously visited the Island last year to research his work for the ‘Past Climates of Jersey’ project. He said: “Jersey’s has an incredible geological story to tell and I am excited to share my research and knowledge with the Geopark Guides and Ambassadors to further strengthen their ability to share with others how the Island fits into the big picture of past climate change on Earth.”

Picture opportunity: The training takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, 27-28 February. The group will be at Jersey Archive both mornings from 9am-12pm and in the field at Belcroute on Tuesday afternoon and at Portelet Bay on Wednesday afternoon from about 2pm-3.30pm.

Contact: Millie Butel
Landscape Engagement & Geopark Development Curator /
Tchuthatrice dé l’Engagement Paysagi et du Dêv’loppement du Géopar
T: (01534) 633326
E: [email protected]

Notes to editors:
1. UNESCO (United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) seeks to build peace through international co-operation in education, the sciences and culture.
2. There are currently 195 designated UNESCO Global Geoparks in 48 countries around the world and each Geopark is unique.
3. Geoparks form a global network of recognised outstanding landscapes and celebrate the links between people and the Earth. They are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance area managed with a holistic approach towards protection, education and sustainable development. They seek to empower local communities and give them the opportunity to develop partnerships with the common goal of promoting the area’s heritage linked to its geology. For more information, go to www.unesco.org/en/iggp/geoparks
4. Attaining the Geopark status for Jersey supports the high level, strategic Island Outcomes that help to shape the Government of Jersey’s work, as well as the Heritage Strategy and ArtStrategy, both created by the Government for the future of the arts, heritage and culture sector. It could also contribute to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (a core priority for UNESCO).
5. The AJIG project is a collaborative one and the stakeholder organisations already involved include Société Jersiaise, Jersey National Park, Jersey Biodiversity Centre, the Blue Marine Foundation, Jersey Marine Conservation, Jersey Tourist Guides Association, Visit Jersey, Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies, Government of Jersey and Jersey Heritage.