The questions below were asked to the Geopark Geologist by school children from the Cloonliffen National School, beside Ballinrobe Co. Mayo in February 2020.
How many acres/hectares of rocks are there in the Geopark project?
What animals are in the Geopark? Will the Geopark project help endangered animals? Are sprays used in the Geopark that would endanger animals? Will you erect bat boxes in the Geopark?
The geopark does not specifically aim to protect endangered animals as the designation does not bring any new regulations to the region. However, the management of the geopark would quite happily support and promote any actions by groups like schools and associations that plan actions, policies and infrastructure that would help the local biodiversity; like erecting bat boxes or limiting the use of sprays that are harmful to pollinators. All these actions would have to be designed and implemented in agreement with the local community.
When do you think it will be a confirmed Geopark?
How many Geoparks are there in Ireland and in Europe?
How will our Geopark be different to other Geoparks?
Again, because of this contrast, our geopark offers a range of environmental habitats for many species of plants and animals and for different agricultural practices and outdoor activities offerings.
Finally, our geopark is the only one situated in a Gaeltacht area which is a great opportunity to support the language and use it in our education offerings.
What is the oldest feature in the Geopark?
Why do you think this area should qualify as a Geopark?
And on top of it all, the diversity in the landscape and the rich historical and current culture of the area make it a perfect place to visit and spend a bit of time.
What would happen if you owned land there?
But someone owning land in the geopark could decide to seize the opportunity to develop some activities for tourist or school groups or to use the brand of the geopark to help sell its products.
Can a Geopark no longer be a Geopark?
In your opinion, what would the most visited part of the Geopark be, at the end of this year?
Does it cost money to go into the Geopark? Can you just walk in?
However, that doesn’t mean you can just walk in into somebody’s land. As in any other region of Ireland, people’s private property is fully respected and visitors can only walk the land after getting prior approval from the landowner.
We have developed a small flyer with key points about what a geopark is/isn’t, does/doesn’t, will/won’t ever be to help inform about opportunities and clear up misunderstandings. We know many in the region understand the geopark concept, although many don’t know what it’s about, and quite a few haven’t even heard of the proposal. There might even be some who may have the wrong idea of it too. We hope it helps to inform you.