, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 93–107 | Cite as

Geotourism in an Industrial Setting: the South Wales Coalfield Geoheritage Network

  • Benjamin G. Evans
  • Christopher J. Cleal
  • Barry A. Thomas
Original Article


The South Wales Coalfield (UK) has a continuous sequence of well-exposed Westphalian-age (late Bashkirian–Moscovian) coal-bearing strata. In recent years, however, there has been a significant decline in quality and accessibility to the sites. In response, considerable sustainable improvements have been made to this important geoheritage resource. Through funding from various sources, access to the sites has been improved and a range of interpretation tools (pamphlets, boards, web site, iPhone app) have been developed to meet the needs of varying audiences. Community engagement has been a key part of the project development, ensuring the resulting geotouristic and educational resources will have a long-lasting legacy.


Coalfield geoheritage Geotourism Carboniferous 



The authors would like to thank the various partners that have been involved in this project, including (in alphabetical order) Caerphilly County Borough Council Country Park Rangers, Caerphilly Woodlands Trust, Celtic Energy Ltd., Countryside Council for Wales (now part of Natural Resources Wales), Cyfarthfa Greenhouse at Merthyr Tydfil, Ernest Cook Foundation, European Social Fund, Neath Port Talbot County Council, Miller-Argent Ltd., Merthyr Tydfil Social Services and Countryside Team, Trusthouse Charitable Trust, Waterloo Foundation and Welsh Government’s Aggregates Levy Fund. The authors also wish to thank the many volunteers and community members who have contributed an incredible amount of time, energy and enthusiasm to the project and without whom the project would never have succeeded or become sustainable. Finally, thanks also go to Prof. Dieter Uhl (Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt-a.-M.) for comments on the planned Saar Geopark.


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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin G. Evans
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Cleal
    • 2
  • Barry A. Thomas
    • 3
  1. 1.British Institute for Geological ConservationNational Museum WalesCardiffUK
  2. 2.Department of Natural Sciences (Botany Section)National Museum WalesCardiffUK
  3. 3.Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural SciencesUniversity of AberystwythAberystwythUK

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