GeoAdventures Festival – discover the wonders of the Cross-Channel Global Geopark!

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GeoAdventures tags

29th April 2024

Prepare to embark on a journey of discovery with the GeoAdventures Festival

GeoAdventures is a vibrant nine-month festival celebrating the aspiring Cross-Channel UNESCO Global Geopark, takes place across the stunning landscapes of the Kent Downs National Landscape and Parc Naturel Régional des Caps et Marais d’Opale. 

Running from May 2024 to February 2025, you can delve into the heart of geodiversity, exploring how the earth, sea, and landscape have shaped our world and the communities within it today. 

GeoAdventures festival offers an exciting range of events. Whether you’re passionate about wildlife and nature, interested in citizen science and woodlands, or simply looking to immerse yourself in arts, crafts, and outdoor activities, there’s an adventure waiting for you. 

Spanning all seasons, each GeoAdventure takes place at one of our Geosites in the Kent Downs and Caps et Marais d’Opale. Geosites are sites of geological interest across the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark, where people can visit and interact with our geological heritage. These unique places represent the incredible variety found in our landscape, based on their geological, educational, or cultural importance.

Enjoy guided walks through ancient landscapes, immerse yourself in the region’s rich geological heritage at an interactive workshop, and engage in citizen science and contribute to our understanding of the environment. If you’re seeking a more creative experience, there will be arts and crafts sessions inspired by the natural world, as well as outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, and river dipping.

Discover GeoAdventures

Highlights of the GeoAdventures festival include: 

  • Jelly Fish Family Workshop – 25 May, 10am to 4pm:  Join us for this free family workshop celebrating the sealife of the Channel. Create your own beautiful jelly fish artwork, inspired by the multi-coloured illustrations of sea creatures by German Zoologist, Ernst Haeckel. 
  • Half Term Fun at Hucking – 27 May, 10am to 1pm: Learn about chalk and create wildlife friendly items you can take home such as natural bird feeders and clay animals. We will also be using plaster of paris to make moulds of fossils and sea creatures as well as other geo/ environmental art with Chalk 
  • Twilight Birds: A Storytelling Walk at Mont de Couple – 9 June, 8pm to 10pm: Join Caps et Marais d’Opale Regional Natural Park for an enchanting evening atop Mont de Couple, one of the most breathtaking viewpoints in the park. As the sun dips below the horizon, embark on a captivating storytelling walk amidst the twilight. 
  • Plants of the Chalk Downs – 9 June, 11am to 3pm: Join us for a look at the special plants that grow on the chalk downland at Wye Downs National Nature Reserve.  
  • Let’s go fly a kite! – 22 June, various: Join Lullingstone County Park’s Ranger Nicola for a free kite making workshop. Create a design of your own or choose from one of ours – Ladybird, owl, bee or butterfly. After, head out to the meadow where you can practise flying your very own kite!   
  • Treemendous Walk on the Folkestone Downs – 22 June, 10.30am to 12pm: Join Ranger Brad on a Treemendous family walk on the Folkestone Downs. We will make our own tree books to take home, collecting bark and leaf rubbings as we explore the wonderful chalk downland habitat. 
  • Woodland for Wellbeing – 28 June, 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm: Immerse yourself in nature with this special event at Trosley Country Park to bring peace and tranquillity to your mind, body and spirit. 
  • Minibeast Safari at the Folkestone Warren – 13 July, 1pm to 2.30pm: Come along and join in a minibeast safari in the Folkestone Warren. We will discover the amazing insect life that can be found in the rare chalk grassland habitat. 
  • Out on a Lympne Guided Walk – 19 July, 1pm to 3.30pm: Join the Romney Marsh Countryside Partnership Ranger on a gentle and accessible guided walk ‘Out on a Lympne along the Royal Military Canal’. We will be discovering the wildlife we see along the way and the history of the landscape around us. 
  • Making of a Meadow: Meadow drawing workshop – 20 July, 3pm to 4.30pm: Join Jessica Potter, artist and teacher, for the Making of a Meadow, a collective drawing workshop held at the Wye Memorial Crown. 
  • Stone Age Adventure at Samphire Hoe – 7 September, 1pm to 3.30pm: Come along and join in a Stone Age Adventure. Can we find the three things vital for our survival; food shelter and water. Have a go at using real Stone Age flints. How might we make fire? 
  • Guided bat Walk and Moth Trapping – 10 September, 7pm to 8.30pm: Join our Park Rangers for a guided bat walk, identifying bats in their natural habitat using bat detectors, and learn more about our moths in the stunning setting of Dryhill Quarry Nature Reserve. 
  • The History of Cap Blanc-Nez – 14 September, 2pm to 4pm: Journey through time as you unravel the geological history of Cap Blanc-Nez, uncovering the mysteries of its white cliffs, exploring the landscapes across the sea, and discovering the fascinating world of fossils. 
  • Folklore and Medicinal Uses of Chalk Downland Plant – 6 October, 2pm to 4pm: Join a slow, gentle walk around the relatively flat White Cliffs of Dover to find, stop and hear about the amazing variety of plants, their folklore, medicinal and wildlife uses, and the wealth of animals that make the chalk habitats home.  How does geodiversity effect the biodiversity? Hear stories of chalk rock, the Weald-Artois anticline, the English Channel and the astonishing story of the megafloods and the aspiring Cross-Channel Geopark.   
  • SALT+EARTH Festival of Landscape, Seascape & The Environment Friday 4 to Sunday 6 October 2024: A fun-packed weekend of artworks, walks, workshops, community gatherings and more. Artists, creatives and scientists will explore everything from geography to geology, sounds to sculptures, food to Deep Time. There will be walks, talks, feasts, exhibitions, installations with something for everyone to enjoy. 
  • Autumn Wreath Making – 13 October, 9am to 12pm: Head out into woods on an autumn walk and get inspired by nature before returning to Shorne Woods Country Park for the chance to make your very own autumn wreath to take home.                  
  • Fête du Geoparc – a three-day celebration of Geodiversity and the Cross-Channel Global Geopark at the Chateau d’Hardelot with a series of events including scientific talks and conferences, school exchange activities from both sides of the channel, films, artistic exhibitions, performances, walks and activities for the public. 

New events are frequently being added to the GeoAdventures festival line up, please check the website regularly for the latest listings. Visit the Kent Downs website for the full programme.

Nick Johannsen, Director of Kent Downs National Landscapes and UK lead for the Cross-Channel Global Geopark says:

“The Geoadventures festival is an exciting and important chapter of our journey towards securing UNESCO status and we are immensely proud of the role these events will play in highlighting the rich geodiversity and distinctiveness of our connected landscapes.

“We are delighted by the incredible number of partners joining us in this endeavour, demonstrating their belief in the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark, its significance, and the journey ahead. While we’re leading the way, it’s important to recognise this is a collective effort – it’s everybody’s Geopark. The support we’ve received from partners is invaluable and speaks volumes about our shared commitment.”

We invite everyone to join us on this journey by booking an event and experiencing first hand the wonders of our natural and cultural heritage on both sides of the Channel.”

Andrea Griffiths, Manager at Medway Valley Countryside Partnership says: 

“Medway Valley Countryside Partnership are delighted to be planning and delivering upcoming events as a GeoAdventures festival partner. We often deliver outdoor educational events for all ages, with a general theme of local wildlife and nature but, being a Geoadventures partner will allow us to delve into the topic of geology and help people discover and explore how the earth and sea combined have shaped our local landscape. Being a Geoadventures partner will allow us to join in the celebration of the aspiring Cross-Channel UNESCO Global Geopark.” 

 Join us in celebrating the beauty and significance of our Cross-Channel Global Geopark at the GeoAdventures festival.

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Geoadventures are part of the Geodiversity project, which is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players.


About the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark

Hundreds of thousands of years ago a catastrophic flood swept away the chalk ridge connecting Dover and Calais, carving out the white cliffs of Dover and starting Britain’s history as an island. Yet the Kent and French coasts are still connected today by the layer of chalk which runs below the Channel.

In celebration of the chalk and the channel, we are working to secure UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark status for the Kent Downs National Landscape together with our neighbouring protected landscape in France; the Parc Naturel Regional des Caps et Marais d’Opale.

The Geopark will include both the protected landscapes and the Channel connecting them, recognising and celebrating the geological connection between us. The Cross-Channel Global Geopark would be the first to be shared by two countries that don’t share a land border!

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