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Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark celebrates achievements of Local Tour Guides

Source:EGN Published:Jul 06,2011


Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark recently held an event at the Marble Arch Caves Visitor’s Centre to acknowledge the successful participants in the Local Geopark Guides training course funded by Cavan-Monaghan LEADER.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Geopark status was first awarded to the Marble Arch Caves and adjoining Cuilcagh Mountain Park in 2001 and since then the Geopark has expanded hugely from these two sites. In 2007 and 2008, the Geopark underwent two phases of expansion firstly in partnership with Forest Service into the forests of west Fermanagh and secondly, into west Cavan and in doing so made our Geopark the first cross-border Geopark anywhere in the world.

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is an area of exceptional geological heritage in West Fermanagh and West Cavan. But, Geoparks are not just about geology. There are many sites included within the Geopark that are steeped in wildlife, history, archaeology or culture as all of these elements are intricately linked with the underlying geology of an area.

The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark local tour guides under the guidance of Travel and Tourism Consult International, undertook comprehensive training on various aspects of the Geopark including geology, archaeology and biodiversity, and participated in practical sessions to develop the skills set needed by Geopark guides. Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council commented ‘Each Geopark has a commitment to actively engage with local communities and to benefit the local economy namely by attracting visitors to the area and promoting the region as a first-class tourist destination. These Geopark Guides now possess all the skills and knowledge to become effective local ambassadors for the Geopark.’

Councillor Peter McVitty, an elected member of Cavan County Council and Chairman of the Geopark’s Joint Operational Committee stated ‘The Geopark is extremely important to the tourism industry of Fermanagh and Cavan and is an excellent example of cross-border co-operation between Fermanagh District Council and Cavan County Council. The Geopark is committed to high quality standards in terms of service delivery and we recognise the role the geopark tour guides will play in maintaining these high standards’

John Toland, Development Officer, Cavan-Monaghan LEADER (CML) praised the participants of the tour guide course for their commitment to promoting and working with the Geopark for the mutual benefit of all that live in the area. CML provided funding through the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 for the delivery of this course. 

For additional information about the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark contact Richard Watson, Geopark Manager on 028 6634 8855 or visit

Notes to Editor:

  1. A Geopark is a territory, which includes a particular geological heritage and a sustainable territorial development. The majority of sites present within a Geopark must be part of the geological heritage, but their interest may also be archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural. Each Geopark has an active role in the economic development of its territory through enhancement of a general image linked to the geological heritage and the development of tourism. For more information see
  2. Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark is one of 43 European Geoparks within the European Geopark Network and as of June 2011 one of 77 Global Geoparks worldwide. It was awarded European Geopark status in 2001, followed by Global Geopark status in 2004 with two major expansions taking place in both 2007 (West Fermanagh) and 2008 (West Cavan).
  3. The Geopark Local Tour Guide Training Programme was funded by    Cavan-Monaghan LEADER and co-ordinated by Travel and Tourism Consult International. For more information on Cavan-Monaghan LEADER please visit & and for more information on Travel and Tourism International please visit