What is a UNESCO Global Geopark? UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.
A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society in the context of the dynamic planet we all live on, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing the impact of natural disasters. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area. The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through sustainable geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.
The Copper Coast Geopark is a largely voluntary community organisation. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee, with Charitable Status.
The Board is made up of directors from the local community as well as valued members from further afield with varied expertise and experience.
The Geopark has a part-time manager, and a geologist. They are backed up by a local management team, several voluntary guides and workers from FAS and TUS.
The Geopark grew out of the Copper Coast Tourism Group which had been formed in 1997; our application to join the new European Geoparks Network was accepted in 2001. In 2004, in common with all the European Network Geoparks, the Copper Coast became part of the Global Geoparks Network and in 2015 the relationship with UNESCO, which had always existed was consolidated when Global Geoparks became UNESCO Global Geoparks. Also in 2004, substantial InterReg funding necessitated the forming of a limited company. That funding enabled, among other things, the purchase of Tankardstown Mining Engine House and Monksland Church. Further funding from Leader has meant that we could do up the church building for use as a multi-purpose Geopark Centre and community facility, with a café, shop, exhibition space and the possibility to use it for small seminars, courses and performances.
To date we have been greatly assisted by modest financial backing from Waterford County Council and the Geological Survey of Ireland and their practical and moral support in many different ways.
Directors: Dr. Mike Sweeney(Chair), Des Cowman, Dr. Richard Unitt, John Galloway, Donal O’Brien, Breda Colfer. Registered Office: Copper Coast Geopark Ltd., Monksland Centre, Knockmahon, Bunmahon, Co. Waterford, Ireland
Registered in Ireland no. 387875. Charity no. CHY16500
About Copper Coast Geopark
The Copper Coast Geopark is in Co. Waterford, Ireland and is an outdoor museum of geological records; it stretches along the coast from Kilfarassy Beach, near Fenor in the east to Ballyvoile Beach near Stradbally to the west.
Volcanoes, oceans, deserts and ice sheets all combined to create the rocks which provide the physical foundation of the natural and cultural landscapes of the area. Follow the self-guided "Copper Coast" trail and walking cards available
from the The Copper Coast Geopark Centre in Bunmahon.