Tayside Geodiversity is a voluntary group that is interested in making Tayside’s geology and landscape better known. Local Geodiversity Sites can be important for educational purposes, scientific study, historical value, and for public awareness and appreciation of landscape and geology. The group produces leaflets and information boards about local geology and geomorphology sites and to protect and improve these sites in the three council areas (Angus, Perth & Kinross, and Dundee) that make up Tayside.
In this post Bioregioning Tayside asked David Lampard to tell us a little more about their story.
Can you talk a bit about yourself, your project, and the journey you have been on to get to this point?
I have a degree in marine biology and a higher degree in taxonomy and classification. I spent about ten years as research biologist working on short term projects. I now work in the heritage sector.
I have been a member of various natural history and conservation volunteer societies for a number of years. I am currently chair of Tayside Geodiversity. Tayside Geodiversity has been operating for over twenty years, first as Tayside RIGGS (Regionally important sites of geology and geomorphology).
Riggs groups are interesting in the identification, protection promotion and sometimes management of geological sites. We work with local authorities and landowners to help protect sites. Most of the sites we work with have no statutory protection, but currently we aim to persuade local authorise to designate sites as LNC’S (sites of local nature conservation interest).
A map of the Highland Boundary Fault in Tayside
What was your inspiration or motivation to do what you do?
No idea, it appears to be something I’ve always been interested in. I was brought up in a heavily industrialised area but there was access to coast and countryside and of course, fossils in the local rocks.
What kinds of expertise or skills do you have or have learned that help you in your work?
Professional training, experience, a sense of inquisitiveness.
How would you describe your relationship to place or to the natural world around you and the environment you live and work in?
I enjoy interacting with the natural world but am not particularly attached to any specific place
We are still enduring this terrible COVID-19 crisis and I wonder if you could think a bit about crisis, in particular the climate and biodiversity crisis which is another thing that feels very much front and centre in our lives. Does that inform what you do/does it impact you or the way you think about your work?
Oddly enough in this instance no, geological processes can take place on extremely long timescales or happen extremely quickly (relatively).
Are there top priorities around the climate and environment you think everyone should be focusing on?
How do you feel about the future in the light of these crises? What about the past, how things have changed over time, does it inform what you do?
One thing geology tells us is that things change continuously and without thought. Or even plan. Many astronomers say the universe is out to kill us. There have been five mass extinction events in the past and the planet is still surviving. The sixth which is ongoing appears to be the first one that could be avoided.
Who do you draw inspiration and guidance from? Are there people showing great leadership in your field?
Too many to mention and new ones appearing all the time. At the same time there is an increase in disinformation
What does “community” mean for what you do?
It’s a group of like-minded people or people with the same interests
Can you talk a little about the networks that you are part of that support you in what you do?
Too many to mention, but include professional, community, and personal.
Are there aspects of the network which you think need changing or developing? Do you see a need for more cooperation between networks? What might that look like?
There is already cooperation between the networks I am a member of. The issue appears to be the number of parallel networks doing roughly the same thing, that do not appear to know of the others. Or new networks starting up without finding out what is already happening and continually reinventing the wheel
How is what you do affected or informed by the current political system? Or local/national policies?
Everything we do is informed by the above. Fortunately, we have a vote.
Are there things you would develop or love to do if resources were unconstrained or managed differently?
Yes, but we cannot turn back time.
In your journey to where you are now is there a particular moment or memory which really meant something to you, energised you, or sparked something that stays with you? This could be anything!
The moment I found out fossil were once living things!
You can find out more about Tayside Geodiversity via this link here.