Mid and East Antrim Borough Council launched ‘Geology at The Gobbins Cliff Path’, a new information guide demonstrating why The Gobbins is a must-see place to visit for so many reasons. Delving deep into the hidden crevasses of the coastline, this short guide aims to increase the amount of geology information available at The Gobbins Cliff Path and other sites of geological interest along the Causeway Coast and Glens Area; enhancing the overall visitor experience.
Commissioned by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, contributions were made by Andrew Bratton and Nikki Maguire from the Causeway Coast and Glen Heritage Trust; Dr Kirstin Lemon at the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and Ian Enlander from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe says, “The introduction of this booklet, is a great addition to The Gobbins experience and the area as a whole. It provides a unique and fascinating look at the complex and varied geology along The Gobbins Cliff Path and associated sites in the Causeway Coast and Glens Area.
“It explores the rich geology along Islandmagee’s coastline telling the story of tectonic plate movements, historic eruptions and the more recent rock falls, which can all be seen along the coastal walk. Other key landmarks, such as Carrickfergus and Cranny Falls also get a mention.
“I think it is extremely important to tell the geological story of the area and to really bring to the fore the wondrous heritage and beauty we call home.”
Speaking on the decision to create the booklet, Andrew Bratton from the Causeway Coast and Glen Heritage Trust remarks: “We took the decision to produce this booklet, as we knew the opening of The Gobbins path would present a great opportunity, to not only profile the spectacular environmental landscape and wildlife along the Gobbins cliff path; but show the link between the new attraction and other local sites of geological interest dotted across the area.
“The booklet unveils other interesting facts about the location. Did you know that The Gobbins is the location where the mineral ‘Gobbinsite’ was first discovered and the location which the mineral is named after? It is also one of the best locations in Ireland to see “tube zeolites”, or minerals, which have been stretched by flowing lava; and to see “Fault Breccia”, a band of rock which formed when two rock masses have rubbed past each other forming a very distinct layer of fractured rock material.”
Andrew adds: “It is the first publication to highlight the unique geology of the Gobbins Cliff Path and we wanted to ensure it presented the information in an interesting yet easy-to-digest way. The rich geology and biodiversity along Islandmagee’s coastline combines beautifully with the coastal processes at The Gobbins to present a landscape of exceptional scientific, aesthetic, historical and cultural value.”
‘Geology at The Gobbins Cliff Path’ is available for free, from the Gobbins Visitor Centre, the Gobbins website (www.thegobbinscliffpath.com) and CCGHT.org.
The Gobbins was a £7.5m project to restore The Gobbins Cliff Path Walk in Islandmagee to its former glory as one of the top tourism attractions in Northern Ireland. The project was part funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the SEUPB, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and Ulster Garden Villages.