On September 27-30, IATNL / Cabox Aspiring Geopark Chairperson Paul Wylezol attended the 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks at Torquay, England, where he learned more about the UNESCO Global Geopark programme and gave a presentation on next year’s 250th Anniversary of James Cook completing his surveys of Western Newfoundland and Eastern Canada.

The conference began with an icebreaker reception at Torre Abbey’s Spanish Barn, which held 397 prisoners from Spanish Armada ships wrecked off the coast of southern England in 1588.

The Abbey was founded in 1196 and tells a story from life in a medieval monastery through Henry VIII, the Spanish Armada, Napoleonic Wars, to Georgian family life.  Its present incarnation is as a museum and art gallery. During the conference, the Abbey played host to William Smith’s geological map of England, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2015. “From 1799 Smith embarked on a great journey carrying out works of engineering, survey and drainage throughout the country. He travelled only by mail coach, cart, horse, and on foot (as even the first passenger steam train did not run until 1825) and took every opportunity to sketch a section and record ‘the stone-quarries, outcrops of the rocks, and other strata thereon’.” For more on the story, go to the IATNL website.

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