Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark can trace its history back to 1985 when the Marble Arch Caves were opened as a tourist attraction by Fermanagh District Council.

Originally employing only a handful of staff the Marble Arch Caves enjoyed a great deal of success and quickly expanded its facilities to accommodate ever growing numbers of visitors.

In 1998 the adjacent Cuilcagh Mountain Park was opened on the northern slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain, fulfilling a vital conservation responsibility for the endangered blanket bog, but also providing a welcome recreational resource, with safe access to the summit of Cuilcagh Mountain.

While all of this was going on, the European Geoparks Network was beginning to take shape with a small number of parks in Europe coming together to promote their shared geological heritage. The Geopark concept was created in 2000 to promote geological landscapes of international importance and to use that as a tool to benefit local economies through sustainable tourism, something which the Marble Arch Caves had been doing since 1985. The first European Geoparks were created in 2001; at this time the Marble Arch Caves and Cuilcagh Mountain Park were jointly recognised as the first European Geopark in the United Kingdom. In 2004, when the Global Geoparks Network was founded, every European Geopark automatically became part of this world-wide network; at that point the Marble Arch Caves and Cuilcagh Mountain Park formally became known as the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark has undergone major changes since it was created, including two major expansions. Formerly one of the smaller Geoparks within the Global Geopark Network, a significant expansion into west Fermanagh and a subsequent expansion across the border with the Republic of Ireland into West Cavan, has meant that the Geopark is now thirty times its original size.

Location

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Belle Isle has a rich history dating back to before the 15th century. It is the place where the Annals of Ulster were written. 📜

The Annals of Ulster are one of the most important historical sources for medieval Ireland.

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Great to talk earlier in #Enniskillen to Mairead McMahon @FSBNIRegion @FSB_NI & Tanya Cathcart @fermanaghlakes on @BBCNews #GE2019 coverage. Talking soon to a group of students @swccollege - all able to vote for the first time.

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Thank you so much for a fantastic week in your beautiful holiday home. We all had a ball and we'll definitely be back soon!
Moran Family, Ratoath, Co Meath