English Riviera UNESCO Geopark Festival returns for 2022
As the rest of the UK returns to normal, following the COVID-19 endemic so the English Riviera UNESCO Geopark Festival returns to Torbay from Thursday 26th May 2022 to Thursday 2nd June 2022, coinciding with the Half Term Holiday. This annual festival is a celebration of the international significance of the area’s Geopark status and sees Geopark Partners and Associate Partners hosting a broad range of events and activities right across the Bay. The purpose of the festival is to showcase the wonders of the Geopark through collaborative working and to allow both residents and visitors to discover something new along the way.
Throughout the half term week events will be taking place across Torbay from various walking tours including one from Taleblazers, who will be exploring the Geology of Hope’s Nose. English Riviera Walking tours are hosting a stroll called Torquay at War, which will take you back to the time of Agatha Christie’s contributions to both the First and Second World War all the way up to the dramatic events leading up to the D-Day landings in 1944. Not ready to go back in time? No problem a Ranger from the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust will be hosting a Berry Head Bat Walk, a unique opportunity to see the rare greater horseshoe bats.
Events will also be taking place underground, Kents Cavern are holding an event called Sustainability in the Stone Age, which looks at how prehistoric people were able to maintain a sustainable lifestyle through responsible consumption and production. Along our beautiful seashore, the team from the Seal Project are hosting a Grey Seal talk and litter pick at Fishcombe Cove Cafe, Brixham.
With the majority of the activities being family-friendly there are some events which are specifically for children and young people. For instance Torre Abbey is holding a family art event called Continental Collision which allows people to learn about the geology of Torbay through arts and crafts. Meanwhile over in Cockington, the Nature Ranger Club will be providing opportunities for families to learn about the the fantastic nature in the country park, especially the trees. There will also be a Rockpool Ramble down at Goodrington Beach where youngsters can discover some of the incredible marine wildlife like feisty crabs, slimy anemones and wiggly fish.
Over at Beacon Cove you will also find a GeoPark Art Workshop, where participants can create their own open air sketches before heading back to the Artizan Collective Gallery to turn their ideas into a unique piece of art to take home. Also at Cockington you will find an Outdoor painting and sketching session with their artist in residence as well as the opportunity to create your very own sheets of paper in a selection of colours including red, white and blue to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee.
English Riviera GeoPark On the sea
With over a third of Torbay’s GeoPark under the water, there are some exciting activities out at sea. Reach Outdoors are holding a Kayak and Wildlife Tour, as well as a Caosteer and Litter Pick, with the opportunity to help clear litter from some of Torbay’s most remote coves and beaches. Meanwhile, Sea Kayak Torquay, are offering a chance to explore the outermost extremities of Torbay’s ancient coral reef and islands. Finally, the team at Vigilance of Brixham are offering the chance to helm their working heritage vessel with its iconic red heritage sails.
The English Riviera GeoPark Festival is a testament to Torbay’s work on becoming carbon neutral by 2030. As part of the festival, Torbay Council and the new Torbay Climate Partnership are hosting a series of Climate Conservations. Each of these half day workshops will have a different theme, taking in a variety of topics including Waste Minimisation and Food, Nature-based Solutions, Transport and Mobility and Decarbonising Homes.
Nick Powe, Geopark Chairman said:
“Once again our partners and associate partners have pulled out all the stops to create a fantastic programme of events that really celebrates both our UNESCO geopark status and our wonderful natural environment. All of these fun, creative and educational activities align with the 17 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals, which have been adopted by Geoparks across the globe.”
Torbay Council Leader, Steve Darling said:
“Living in Torbay it’s easy to take our natural environment for granted and we need to ensure we all take time out to immerse ourselves in our beautiful Bay – I personally really enjoy sea kayaking.
“This year’s English Riviera Geopark Festival looks really exciting, and I do encourage everyone to have a look at the programme and get involved if you can – here is literally something for everyone.
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture at Torbay Council said:
If you are able to make one of the upcoming Climate Conversations, we would value your input and I’m sure you will find them really rewarding. We are also planning a wider public event in July followed by a consultation in the autumn and will share more details soon. We need everyone’s support in Torbay to help us meet our ambitious goal of becoming carbon Neutral by 2030.”
More information about the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geo Park Festival can be found on the official English Riviera UNESCO Geopark website.