The Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark is celebrating after scooping a regional award earlier this month.
The geopark was entered into the West Midlands National Parks Awards scheme in October and was one of 12 winning entries announced last month.
The awards recognise projects that make an outstanding contribution to the quality of the environment and health and wellbeing of people living, working and visiting the West Midlands region.
Applicants are assessed on several factors including how they prioritise people’s quality of life and the environment, support community pride and health, collaborate across boundaries and create resilience within the community and environment.
The judges commended the geopark for its holistic and inclusive approach, bringing together the four Black Country local authorities and its many communities into a single landscape.
They also recognised the geopark’s exceptional geological heritage and how it has elevated the profile of the whole West Midlands region through achieving an international UNESCO designation.
Jane Lamine, strategic lead for the Black Country Global Geopark, said:
We’re really proud to have scooped this award. It’s fantastic that the geopark’s successful collaboration between key partners, including the local authorities and Natural England, has been recognised at a regional level.
Our focus is very much about celebrating this area’s geological and cultural heritage and conserving it for future generations. We want people around the world to understand why this area is so important, how it helped create the modern world and how people can be part of its ongoing evolution.
Thanks to the judges for recognising the work we are doing and our ambitions for the future.
The geopark is led by all four Black Country authorities – Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton as well as key partners including Natural England, the Canal and River Trust, the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, the Black Country Consortium and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.
The need for a West Midlands National Park was envisioned by Kathryn Moore, a professor at Birmingham City University.
More information about the geopark can be found at - https://blackcountrygeopark.dudley.gov.uk/bcg/