Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark
Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark was awarded Geopark status in 2001 and since becoming the World’s first transnational UNESCO Global Geopark in 2008, it has continued to expand and now has over 50 sites within its boundary. Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark is an area of not only geological significance but also encompasses sites of archaeological and historical value, not to mention the wealth of biodiversity in the region.
The Geopark includes a wide variety of sites of interest in a swathe of countryside extending from the northern shores of Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh to the southern shores of Lough Oughter in County Cavan. Whether you’re searching for a tranquil spot to do some big thinking, or maybe you’re in search of an exciting adventure, exploring mountains and caves, Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark has something for everyone.
There are a variety of geosites, viewpoints, nature reserves, lakes, rivers, churches, castles, prehistoric tombs and other archaeological remains within the Geopark along with walking routes. Visitors can also enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits including water sports and hiking.
Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark Sustainable Business Network
The Marble Arch Caves were delighted to participate in the Cuilcagh Lakelands Business Sustainability Network Programme in 2022.
The Programme includes training of a number of other local business and attractions in sustainable business practices. This includes the use of locally sourced materials, energy efficiency, waste management, Leave No Trace certification and biodiversity in the Geopark.
There are now twenty businesses within the Network who regularly come together to discuss their current and future business plans, events, how to work together and support other businesses in the Network as well as trying to develop new tourism experiences.
What is a UNESCO Geoparks?
Global Geoparks became an official programme within the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2015. UNESCO Global Geoparks are places where outstanding geological heritage is used to support sustainable development through conservation, education, community engagement and sustainable tourism.
To have Geopark status, a region must have a geological heritage of international significance. This could be through its outstanding natural beauty, it’s contribution to scientific research or because it holds great educational value, teaching communities, present and future about our incredible past.
A Geopark has a strong commitment to directly benefit local communities and the local economy. This is done by attracting visitors, creating jobs, providing education, and training programmes and supporting businesses and enterprises.
While a Geopark must demonstrate significant geological heritage, the purpose of a Geopark is to create a sense of pride in the region, strengthen identity of the area and celebrate local cultures and societies.
Our Geopark Landscape
The Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark includes a wide variety of landcapes of interest extending from the northern shores of Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh to the southern shores of Lough Oughter in County Cavan.
The underlying limestone and sandstone bedrock of the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark has helped to create a patchwork of rare, natural habitats; including some of the last remaining natural areas of damp ash woodland in Ireland are found at the Magho Cliffs in Lough Navar Forest.
Limestone grasslands are present on the lower slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain, hosting a unique community of wildflowers, animals, and insects. Blanket bog up to three metres thick covers large swathes of the landscape with a deep cloak of peat, a gigantic natural sponge covering the bedrock. Spectacular views of this habitat can be enjoyed from the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail.
Education, sustainability and conservation are some of the core values held by Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark which offer a number of learning programmes for pre-school children right up to university students.