pp 1–13 | Cite as

Communities, Quarries and Geoheritage—Making the Connections

  • Colin D. ProsserEmail author
Original Paper


Successful geoconservation increasingly depends on securing understanding and support from local communities and the decision makers within them. As most people do not understand geoscience, value geoheritage, or support geoconservation, it is extremely important that ways of raising awareness of geoheritage and building support for conservation are found. Connecting communities to their geoheritage is central to achieving this, and can be done in a variety of ways. Quarries and quarrying, including mines and mining, are perhaps the most effective means of engaging communities with their geoheritage as every quarry is ‘man-made’, and as such has a cultural connection with the community that worked it. Using examples from England, different connections between communities, quarries and geoheritage are described, and ways of making these connections are explored. Innovative approaches to making these links, such as those that involve physical engagement and activities with the community, and which contribute to a wider social agenda, are highlighted. The concept of an Anthropocene epoch, emphasising the links between society and its visible impact on the natural environment, including the geological record, provides a new context within which to use quarries to link communities to their geoheritage.


Geoheritage Geoconservation Quarries Quarrying Communities 



I thank Ewa Glowniak and the other organisers of the IX International ProGEO Symposium, Chęciny, Poland, 2018, for inspiring production of this paper, and I am grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. Graham Worton kindly provided Figs. 7 and 8, whilst Dave Evans drafted Figs. 1 and 2.


  1. Bassett MG (1982) ‘Formed stones’ folklore and fossils. National Museum of Wales, Geological Series, 1Google Scholar
  2. Bevins RE, Ixer RA, Pearce NJG (2014) Carn Goedog is the likely major source of Stonehenge doleritic bluestones: evidence based on compatible element geochemistry and principal component analysis. J Archaeol Sci 42:179–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Briant, M (2017) The Giant’s causeway: culturally natural or naturally cultural? In: Larwood J, France S, Mahon C (Eds) (2017). Culturally natural or naturally cultural? Exploring the relationship between nature and culture through world heritage, 24–25. IUCN National Committee UKGoogle Scholar
  4. Brilha J, Gray M, Pereira DI, Pereira P (2018) Geodiversity: an integrative review as a contribution to the sustainable management of the whole of nature. Environ Sci Pol 86:19–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Crofts R, Gordon JE (2015) Geoconservation in protected areas. In: Worboys GL, Lockwood M, Kothari A, Feary S, Pulsford I (eds) Protected Area Governance and Management. ANU Press, Canberra, pp 531–568Google Scholar
  6. English Nature, Quarry Products Association, Silica and Moulding Sands Association (2003) Geodiversity and the minerals industry—conserving our geological heritage. Entec UK LtdGoogle Scholar
  7. Gordon (2012) Rediscovering a sense of wonder: Geoheritage, Geotourism and cultural landscape experiences. Geoheritage 4:65–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gordon JE, Barron HF, Hansom JD, Thomas MF (2012) Engaging with geodiversity – why it matters. Proc Geol Assoc 123:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gray JM (2013) Geodiversity: valuing and conserving abiotic nature, 2nd edn. Wiley Blackwell, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  10. Gray JM, Gordon JE, Brown EJ (2013) Geodiversity and the ecosystem approach: the contribution of geoscience in delivering integrated environmental management. Proc Geol Assoc 124:659–673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harrald J (2018) Northamptonshire celebrates having a real ‘Jurassic Park. Earth Heritage 49:39–41Google Scholar
  12. Larwood J (2017) Geodiversity – a cultural template. In: Larwood J, France S, Mahon C (eds) (2017). Culturally natural or naturally cultural? Exploring the relationship between nature and culture through World Heritage. IUCN National Committee, UK, pp 16–19Google Scholar
  13. López-García JA, Oyarzun R, López Andrés S, Manteca Martínez JI (2011) Scientific, educational and environmental considerations regarding mine sites and geoheritage: a perspective from SE Spain. Geoheritage 3:267–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mata-Perelló J, Carrión P, Molina J, Villas-Boas R (2018) Geomining heritage as a tool to promote the social development of rural communities. In: Reynard E and Brilha J (Eds) (2018) geoheritage assessment, protection, and management. Elsevier pp 167–178Google Scholar
  15. Miles E (2013) Involving local communities and volunteers in geoconservation across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, UK – the Community Earth Heritage Champions Project. Proc Geol Assoc 124:691–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mortimore RN, Gallagher LT, Gelder JT, Moore IR, Brooks R, Farrant AR (2017) Stonehenge - a unique late cretaceous phosphatic chalk geology: implications for sea-level, climate and tectonics and impact on engineering and archaeology. Proc Geol Assoc 128:564–598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Parkes MA (Ed) (2004) Natural and cultural landscapes – the geological foundation. Proceedings of a conference 9–11 September 2002, Dublin Castle, Ireland, 329. Royal Irish Academy, DublinGoogle Scholar
  18. Parkes M, Gatley S (2018) Quarrying and Geoconservation in the Republic of Ireland – the effectiveness of guidelines for operators. Geoheritage 10:169–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Prosser CD (2003) Geology and quarries: some new opportunities. Geol Today 19:65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Prosser CD (2018) Geoconservation, quarrying and mining: opportunities and challenges illustrated through working in partnership with the mineral extraction industry in England. Geoheritage 10:259–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Prosser CD, Murphy M, Larwood J (2006) Geological conservation: a guide to good practice. English Nature, PeterboroughGoogle Scholar
  22. Prosser CD, Díaz-Martínez E, Larwood JG (2018) The conservation of geosites: principles and practice. In: Reynard E and Brilha J (Eds) (2018) Geoheritage assessment, protection, and management. Elsevier, pp 193–212Google Scholar
  23. Reynard E, Giusti C (2018) The landscape and the cultural value of Geoheritage In: Reynard E and Brilha J (Eds) (2018) Geoheritage Assessment, Protection, and Management. Elsevier, pp 147–166Google Scholar
  24. Stefano M, Paolo S (2017) Abandoned quarries and geotourism: an opportunity for the Salento Quarry District (Apulia, Southern Italy). Geoheritage 9:463–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Thompson A, Poole J, Carroll L, Foweraker M, Harris K, Cox P (2006) Geodiversity action plans for aggregate companies: a guide to good practice. Report to the mineral industry research organisation. Capita Symonds Ltd, East GrinsteadGoogle Scholar
  26. Worton GJ, Gillard R (2013) Local communities and young people – the future of geoconservation. Proc Geol Assoc 124:681–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zalasiewicz J, Waters C, Williams M, Aldridge DC, Wilkinson IP (2018) The stratigraphical signature of the Anthropocene in England and its wider context. Proc Geol Assoc 129:482–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural EnglandPeterboroughUK

Personalised recommendations