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The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, Scotland: geoconservation history and challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Vanessa Brazier, John E. Gordon, Martin Faulkner, Derrick Warner, Keith Hoole, Jim Blair


Glen Roy is a classic geosite for ice-dammed lake shorelines, the Parallel Roads, and associated features formed during the Loch Lomond (Younger Dryas) Stade (12.9–11.7 ka). The area played a key part in the development of the glacial theory in the early 19th century and continues today to have outstanding scientific value for understanding the processes and timing of events at the end of the last glaciation. Glen Roy has also been long-appreciated as an awe-inspiring visitor attraction, and is now a flagship site for geotourism within Lochaber Geopark. Statutory geoconservation in Glen Roy, beginning in the second half of the 20th century, was founded on the exceptional scientific value of the area. The history and practice of geoconservation in Glen Roy illustrate the contested values of geoheritage and the evolving approaches adopted. Important lessons include the need for open dialogue and partnership working among the local community, land owners and managers, the statutory conservation agency (Scottish Natural Heritage), Lochaber Geopark and the scientific community.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Geologists' Association
Issue number1
Early online date15 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Glacial lake shorelines, Geoheritage, Geoconservation, Geotourism, Glen Roy National Nature Reserve, Lochaber Geopark

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