Council is taking care of our natural environment

The Council has signalled its intention to continue to take care of the capital’s natural environment for future generations by agreeing to be part of Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter for the next five years.

Stones of Scotland
Cllr Lewis Ritchie (right) with Angus Miller at the City of Edinburgh stone

This was agreed by the Council’s Planning Committee at their meeting earlier this month. Geodiversity is recognised as an integral part of the environment, economy, heritage and future development of a place, locally and nationally.

The Council, with the support of Lothian and Borders GeoConservation Group and Edinburgh University, has produced a geodiversity audit of 30 sites in the city, which are protected through the Council’s Local Development Plan.

Planning Convener, Cllr Lewis Ritchie, marked the occasion by visiting Stones of Scotland in Edinburgh’s Regent Park with Angus Miller of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum, where he signed a document indicating that the Council will adhere to the Charter for 2017-22 when approved.

This means that Edinburgh will continue to promote its geodiversity as adding value to the visitor experience and enjoyment. By signing up to be part of the charter the Council also acknowledges the importance of national geodiversity policy and guidance and will continue to form partnerships with local geoconservation groups to audit geodiversity sites, as well as involving local communities in collating information about sites of interest. The charter also asks local authorities to allow access to records and samples when land is exposed and contribute geological data to the British Geological Survey.

Cllr Lewis Ritchie, Planning Convener, said: “Edinburgh has a rich and diverse natural environment and it is really important that we play our part to help to protect it now and for generations to come. Edinburgh has 30 sites of geological intertest and by signing up to this Charter we are stating our intention to work with partners across the city and Scotland to protect and learn more about our natural heritage.

“Today’s venue to sign the document is fitting as Stones of Scotland is a great place for people to learn more about the stones which make up our natural environment.”

Angus Miller, Chair Scottish Geodiversity Forum, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council has led the way in Scotland in the designation and promotion of Local Nature Conservation Sites for geodiversity, and helping to promote the importance of geology to the city and its communities. We are delighted to have the Council's ongoing support for Scotland's Geodiversity Charter, and to acknowledge the strong partnership between the Council and Lothian and Borders Geoconservation that has resulted in this network of local geodiversity sites.”

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