The Geopark Forum has 21 members and short reports from these organisations are shown below. After the difficult times of the Covid epidemic, it has been pleasing to see things getting back to normal in 2022.
The Geopark continues to be administered by the Secretariat; a task performed by Forum member Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service (WAAS). Paul Hudson who managed this task has now left WAAS and the new contact there is Ian Mackey. The important work of the Secretariat includes co-ordination of the GeoFest programme, promotion of the Geopark on the website and social media throughout the year, dealing with enquiries from the public and members, overseeing the finances and managing the bank account. The main cost to the Forum is the running of the Secretariat (see separate financial report) which is funded by annual donations from members and a special ongoing sponsorship by Merlin Energy. 2022 has also seen a grant from the Curry Fund of the Geologists’ Association and a donation from the Geopark President Chris Darmon to help with financial sustainability. The Tomlinson Brown Trust funded the work of Geologists in the Geopark during GeoFest 2022.
GeoFest again ran over June, July and August with plenty of events and activities, all drawn from the summer programmes of members, enabling a very comprehensive GeoFest programme to be delivered. As usual the public was able to participate in the stories and events delivered by Forum members across the 800 square miles of the Geopark. The Geopark President Chris Darmon visited in August with his summer school participants.
The Geopark seems to work well as an independent English geopark supported by the continuing professional input from Forum organisations. Although the Geopark started life as essentially an area of outstanding geology and associated landscape it has, much to its benefit, expanded to include wildlife, archaeology, heritage, science and art. A Geopark information leaflet is available to members for public distribution.
Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Geopark. Perhaps members might consider designating one or more of their events in 2023 to mark this milestone. Also there is a proposal to have a celebratory day at the start of GeoFest next year when Forum members, sponsors and other supporters can meet and discuss progress and participate in a few activities. The proposed date is Tuesday 20th June 2023 at Severn Valley Country Park. As always send your ideas and comments to the Secretariat at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Members are Arley Arboretum, Bewdley Museum, Bewdley School and Discovery Society, BrooksDesign, Cob House Countryside Park, Herefordshire Council Heritage Services, Forestry England Wyre, Geologists in the Geopark, Gloucestershire Geology Trust, Land of the Living Dinosaurs, Malvern Hills GeoCentre, Merlin Energy, National Trust Croome, National Trust Dudmaston, Severn Valley Railway, Severn Valley Country Park, University of Birmingham School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Lapworth Museum, West Midlands Regional Group of the Geological Society, Woolhope Naturalists Field Club, Worcester Cathedral, and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service.