Ross and Sutherland MSP Gail Ross has offered her “complete support” to the North West Highlands Geopark, which faces losing its UNESCO status due to lack of funding.
The geopark is now running a crowdfunding campaign, Love the Geopark, in order to raise the £70,000 that it requires to retain its staff on an annual basis. Offers of support have already come in from throughout the UK and over £4,000 raised.
Ms Ross said: “The work done by the North West Highland Geopark in promoting the unique geology in the north-west Highlands, not only for local communities but also to visitors, is fantastic. However, they cannot continue to provide the services which they do without the money required to staff the park. Time is now running out for the future of the park.
“The Geopark’s drive is not only to promote the area in terms of its geology but also encourages all visitors to be good stewards of our natural and cultural resources and strengthens the links that this remote area has with the rest of the world.”
Ms Ross added that time was now critical for the Geopark and funding must be found to ensure that the staff who were bringing up their families in the park could be retained.
She said: “I’m very concerned that there is the possibility that they could lose their UNESCO Global Geopark Status due to lack of funding and I would encourage everyone who can give what they can to the crowdfunder campaign Love the Geopark.”