Did you know that the Causeway Coastal Route is one of the best places in the World to learn about geology?

Forget about your boring old fieldtrips on dodgy school buses, Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust and its partners have developed a field guide which launches Northern Ireland onto the World Stage as a must see destination for students, teachers, researchers and tourists with an interest in our outstanding natural environment.

Designed as a resource for teachers and students at Key Stage 3, 4, 5 and the Irish Leaving Certificate, the field guide takes teachers through key aspects of safe and sustainable fieldwork, protected area management and a step-by-step guide for ten sites of geological interest along the coast. Students can learn about education for employability, rock types, geological structures, coastal erosion, coastal protection, engineering strategies and site specific hazards – all whilst getting a good dose of fresh air and exercise.

Written by William Lynn and Nicole Sloane from Foyle College, the guides received outstanding support from the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Western Education and Library Board’s Magilligan Field Centre. Andrew Bratton from the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust says “The guides are a great example of how education projects should be delivered in Northern Ireland, with cross-departmental support and expert advice from individuals with hands-on experience in their relevant field”.

The first 10 teachers to get their hands on the guides have completed a fantastic teacher training course in geodiversity delivered by Magilligan Field Centre. Fully funded by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s NGO Challenge Fund, the teachers where brought out of the classroom for three days to undertake training in  the safe and appropriate use of our special geological sites. Combined these projects expose the world class geodiversity of Causeway Coastal Route to an international audience, so don’t surprised if you spot slightly muddy kids and adults with hard hats and clipboards at Downhill, Portrush, Whiterocks, Giant’s Causeway, Ballintoy, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Cushendun, Cushendall, Garron Point or Larne.

Whether you just have a passing interest in geology, are considering it as a potential career path or would like to introduce geology into your classroom, CCGHT would love to hear your thoughts and ideas?

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