This geopark acquired its global status in 2009 and has an area of 1,468 km2. It has richer geological diversity than any geopark of similar size in Europe. It is full of breathtaking geological landscapes that span approximately three billion years. Shetland is an archipelago of more than 100 islands and contains rocks from the Precambrian to the Carboniferous. The many notable features include the North Rock igneous complex, which contains the best section through a volcano in the British Isles, St. Michael’s Island, which is the largest active sand bar in the UK and the best in Europe, and the Shetland Ophiolite, which has been described as the world’s most compact, exposed, complete, and easily accessible ophiolite.