The role of the voluntary sector in the evolving geoconservation movement
The role of the voluntary sector in geoconservation has a long history. However, its involvement in biodiversity conservation is even longer. A contrast is made between the biodiversity and geodiversity voluntary sectors through time. With the start of the movement arguably by the National Trust in the late nineteenth century, the baton (or hammer) has been taken up by geological societies locally and nationally, by individuals and more recently by the RIGS initiative. The word voluntary in no way diminishes the work undertaken and achieved by these people. It can be argued that without them geoconservation would not exist. This paper explores their contribution using case studies: National Trust and UKRIGS as national organizations, the RIGS movement as a local initiative, the Chester Society of Natural Science as ‘local’ interest and the work of individuals through time. The latest Local Geodiversity Action Plans (LGAPs) development as a recent historical phenomenon is explored and the importance of local as context for geoconservation illustrated.