Copper Coast Geopark Ltd.
Co. Waterford,

Tel: +353 (0)51 292828


In relation to the ongoing campaigning for and against a windfarm on the Copper Coast, the Copper Coast Geopark has issued the statement below in responce to concerns about the UNESCO status of the area in case of the development of a windfarm on the Copper Coast.

There are eight UNESCO designated listings on the island of Ireland (three world heritage sites, three Geoparks and two relating to biosphere). Geoparks received this status in November 2015.

Geoparks differ from the other listings in that there is a formal Revalidation of status every four years; this entails an independent review by experienced experts on performance, financial sustainability etc. and is a detailed exercise. Following the review a Geopark may be given a clean bill of health (a green card), areas indicated for improvement within a defined period (a yellow card) or the status removed (a red card). The Copper Coast Geopark received a green card review in 2015.

A further difference is that Geopark status carries no additional legislative requirement other than that covered by local or national legislation - this also applies to planning legislation. Sites of scientific importance within the Geopark are listed and monitored by the Geological Survey of Ireland. Thus the UNESCO designation would not prohibit the development of windfarms within the Geopark unless they were to potentially damage designated sites of scientific importance. Many Geoparks have windfarms within their boundaries.

As a community-based organisation, Copper Coast Global Geopark doesn’t intend to take any position regarding wind turbines beyond that statement but if we do it will be entirely independent of any ongoing campaign. 



December Newsletter



Take a look at our december newsletter here


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Geopark Comment On Proposed Local Windfarm Development

Almost a year ago the Board of the Copper Coast UNESCO Geopark were asked to comment on a scoping document provided by the consulting engineers to theBSB Community Wind Farm Project, and did so as follows.





Thank you for supplying the scoping document in relation to the proposed placement of wind turbines near Bunmahon and giving us the opportunity to respond at this stage of your project process. As you will be aware this district is part of a UNESCO designated Global Geopark (a relatively new category equivalent to the more familiar ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’). As the company responsible for managing the Geopark, our Board has discussed your proposal and would have the following observations.


The geological heritage of the Copper Coast Geopark is not limited to the bedrock. It also includes landscape features that indicate the outlines of bedrock throughout the district. In addition, the landscape elements that are the result of ice age erosion are also part of this heritage. Installation of turbines has the potential to block or interrupt views of these natural landscape features, adversely affecting the public access and enjoyment of these important elements of the Geopark’s geological heritage, whether observers are on public roads, walking the landscape or viewing from a distance, including from the sea.


The Board of Copper Coast Geopark Ltd considers that what would be advisable in this project, would be to:


1.      Carry out a detailed visual impact assessment, showing the position of all proposed structures that would be visible in the landscape, from various vantage points, including the sea.


2.      Carry out an assessment of the landscape features that would be in line of sight of all proposed structures and determine which are of significant heritage value and whether these would be affected in terms of vistas from key vantage points.


Please note that the Geopark have no statutory authority over planning matters but consider the above to be a minimum requirement prior to conducting the necessary public consultation process. We trust this helps in your deliberations.


Yours sincerely,



CopperCoastUNESCO Geopark Board


Please note: neither the Geopark (a voluntary run Charity) nor its Directors receive any benefit from this project.




Explore new ways of looking at the natural environment within the Copper Coast Geopark as part of Science Week 2016.

As part of the week long nationwide initiative to promote interest in science across all groups, the Copper Coast Geopark will host two completely different but equally fascinating and educational events for people of all ages.

For amateur ecologists there will be an opportunity to join local ecologist Alan Walshe in Fenor Bog for an eco walk while for budding rock hounds there is a chance to view and take part in a unique geological exhibition in the Geopark Visitor Centre – Rocks Under The Microscope.

For further information on either of these events or anything else to do with the Copper Coast Geopark please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


What is the difference between a bog and Fen and why are bogland environments so important to our ecosystem? Get the answers to these questions and more from expert ecological guide Alan Walshe on the 19thof November in Fenor Bog at 2pm. This Ecowalk of Fenor Bog will open your eyes to the dynamic, and incredibly vulnerable,  eco-system that exsits in Irish bogland environments as well the amazing community effort which saved Fenor Bog from certain destruction.

VENUE: Fenor Bog, Fenor Co.Waterford

DATE: Saturday 19th NOVEMBER

TIME: 2pm

This is a free event and no booking is required.



Learn about how, why and where we look at rocks and minerals under the microscope and get a chance to do so yourself at this exhibition and workshop in the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre with Copper Coast Geologist Robbie Galvin. This is a must see event and a once off chance to learn an aspect of geological investigation that is seldom thought of but is fascinating to experience. After this event, you will never look at rocks the same way again!

VENUE: Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre Bunmahon

DATE: Saturday 19th

TIME: 12pm



November Newsletter

Click on the images below to read our November Newsletter. If you would like to recieve this newsletter to your inbox every month please email on your address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line "Newsletter".





November Events in The Copper Coast Geopark

November in the Copper Coast Centre



WORDS returns to the Copper Coast Centre!

We look forward to welcoming you back at 7.45pm on Wednesday 2nd November. 

1st Annual Book Fair for Book Lovers and Collectors
Sunday November 6th 1pm to 5pm
Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre, Bunmahon, Co. Waterford
Admission is free
Afternoon tea will be served in our cafè
We have a great variety of stalls confirmed for the first ever Copper Coast Geopark Book Fair!
Something for everyone and for every pocket!
The Copper Coast Geopark are very glad to receive donations of books which are sold on their own bookstall on the day. The money raised is then used by the Geopark in its on-going work.

Sunday November 13th at 7pm
Enjoy an evening of music and dancing at the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre with the Bally Ramblers.
Admission 10 euro
Price includes light refreshments.



Saturday November 19th at 12pm

Explore the fascinating world of optical mineralogy and see how, why and what we see when we look at thin sections of common rocks underneath a microscope. With microscopic rock slides provided by University College Cork

Admission 2 euro


DUNAILL, with their own brand of Folk Music.
26th November at 8.00pm
Admission €10


Halloween in the Copper Coast Geopark

The Copper Coast Geopark is delighted to be hosting a screening of the 1969 cult classic horror film “Night of the Living Dead”.



Experience the terrifying thrill of watching a cult classic horror film in a really unique location.  The Copper Coast Geopark Visitor centre, situated in a restored 18thCentury Church, is both excited and terrified to be screening the original, and by far the best, version of the 1968 George A Romero zombie film “Night of the living dead”. This film, rated by the Library of Congress as being “culturally significant” is a must watch both for anyone with an interest in cinema or for anyone looking for a special experience over this Halloween weekend.

VENUE: Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre

DATE: Friday 28thOctober

TIME: 7.30pm

TICKET PRICE: €5 on the door, Pre-booking Recommended, family discounts available

TO BOOK: Reserve tickets at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






Visit From Zhangiajie Global Geopark

The Copper Coast Geopark was host recently to a delegation from the Zhangiajie Global Geopark from Northern Hunan Province,China who came to Waterford last Saturday (25th September). The Chinese delagates, government officials and geologists, were visiting the Copper Coast Geopark on their way to a conferance in england and were shown around the sights of the Copper Coast by a collection of representatives from the Geopark here.

Admiring the Rosehips in Tankardstown - An excellent natural cough syrup ingredient!

The landscape Geopark from which they came is perhaps better known to you as being the Inspiration for the alien landscape of the popular film "Avatar". It is renowned for its huge sandstone pillars which are remarkable due to their size (up to 100m high), shape (think tower blocks) and method of formation (river based erosion over tremendous periods of time). In situ, they seem to be almost like natural skyscapers in the tropical landscape of the park - a trope used to great effect by James Cameroon during the filming of Avatar. The Zhangiajie Geopark itself is roughly forty (four zero!) times bigger than the Copper Coast Geopark and has been in existence since 2001 and is host to an estimated 10 million visitors a year. One of the major issues facing their geopark, according to the delegates present last Saturday, is in fact overcrowding! 

Copper Coast Geopark Director Mike Sweeney explaining the geology of the Copper Coast Geopark

In spite of their own undoubtedely very impressive geopark, the visitors to the Copper Coast were extremely impressed by our dramatic and, partly thanks to some fortunately sunny weather, spectacular coastal landscapes and fascinating volcanic geology. After a day spent touring the geological, archeological and anthropological sites of the area (including an excellent lunch in Pisces resturant, Kill) the Chinese Geopark delegates were left with an unforgetable appreciation of the area here. To find out more about the Zhangjiajie Geopark check out their own website at



Comeraghs Wild Festival

The 2nd annual Comeraghs Wild festival (15th to 18th September) is a series of events that take place around the Comeragh Mountains region to celebrate the diversity and hertiage of the natural and cultural environments that thrive here. As part of this years festival there are a number of events going on within (and in conjuction with) the Copper Geopark that range from Kayaking with a Geologist, Sand art and brass bands to the closing concert of the whole festival with pianist Daniel Kearney and Singer Moylan Brunnock. For more details of what else is on during the festival see or, for more information on whats on in the Geopark contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 353 (0)51 292828.




National Heritage Week in the Copper Coast Global Geopark

It's that time of year when we all acknowledge and celebrate our local heritage in its many forms.

Geoparks exist to spread the word on the importance of geology to us all and its influence on so many aspects of our lives - its relevance to why we live where we live and how; its influence on our culture and character and so many aspects of our heritage. Geoparks aim to bring geology to life and life to geology, harnessing all that it has brought to an area to generate local pride of place and building community sustainability.

If you click here you can see our programme of events for this year - a series of walks and talks on the Copper Coast with our Geologist, Robbie Galvin and ecologists Alan Walshe and Lauren Browne. We hope you can join in to find out a little more about the Geo and Bio diversity of The Copper Coast.

Tellus Programme Data Launch at the Copper Coast

The Geological Survey of Ireland’s Tellus Programme came to the Copper Coast Geopark Centre on 29th July to publish the latest results off their aerial geophysical survey of our area. The launch of the data was performed by Minister for Natural Resources, Sean Kyne TD at an event which was attended by representatives of GSI/Tellus, mineral exploration companies, Copper Coast Geopark and members of the press.

Tellus is a ground and airborne geoscience mapping programme, collecting chemical and geophysical data that will inform the management of Ireland’s environment and natural resources.

Tellus is undertaken by the Geological Survey of Ireland and is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. All data from Tellus are made available free of charge online.tellus plane

The Copper Coast and surrounding area was surveyed during spring and early summer when the 'plane became quite familiar to us all.

The press release and results of the survey can be found on the Tellus website -

Copper Coast Flower Show

It's that time of the year again and we will again be hosting the Copper Coast Flower Show in the Copper Coast Visitor Centre in Bonmahon.
We hope you can come along for the beautiful flowers - in the competition and for sale, and for a cup of tea and a chat and browse among some beautiful local art and crafts. (We are nearer to next Christmas than last!)
If you would like an entry form with details of the different competition categories please do download one by clicking here. Do have a go and add to the colour and scents of summer on the Copper Coast!

European Geoparks Network Week 2016

Every year, at the end of May - beginning of June, Geoparks throughout Europe put on events to highlight their membership of the Network and to promote the image of that network. We just have four events this year but they should all be thoroughly engaging and enjoyable.

European Geoparks Network Week 2016
at the Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark.
Edith Collier Photo Tour is a photographic tour of Bunmahon. Bonmahon, by Edith CollierThis will take place on Saturday 21st May with photographer Sean Fitzsimons from Fotofitz, Copper Coast Photo Tours. This tour will retrace the steps of renowned New Zealand artist Edith Collier, who spent some time in Bunmahon, capturing the beauty of the rugged coastline and its people in her views of the village in 1914 and 1915.
If you would like to participate, please book early, as places are limited.
Date:  Saturday, 21st May.
Time 10.00 am.
Meeting Point: Copper Coast Visitor Centre
To Book: Phone Sean Fitzsimons at 0852890408
Ticket Price: €30.00
Duration: 3 hours approx
Other info: Children welcome. Suitable clothing and footwear should be worn.
Miners' Trail: Starting at the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre, you will get the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Copper Coast Miners.jim cullinan Your guide, local historian Jim Cullinan brings the stories of the miners, their lives and families, to fascinating life as you explore the landscape and iconic remains of the mining industry in Bunmahon. The tour will visit Osborne Terrace, The Geological Garden, the Dressing Floors, Bunmahon beach, Saleen Chapel and free entry to the mining exhibition at the Visitor Centre.
To Book: Text MINERS TRAIL along with your name and the number of places to 087 6283211.  Booking is not essential.
Date: Sunday 22nd May.
Time: 2.00 pm.
Meeting Point: Copper Coast Visitor Centre
Ticket Price: €5.00
Duration: 1 hour approx.
Other info:  Children free and welcome. Suitable clothing and footwear should be worn.
South Eastern Amateur Radio Group (SEARG) will, for the 9th consecutive year, take part in the Geoparks Communications weekend, which takes place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May. The radio group, which is based in Waterford City, with members from Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny and Kildare, will broadcast from the Tankardstown Engine House, just east of Bunmahon, and will make contact with radio groups in other Geoparks around Europe and the wider world as well as many others. The South East Radio Group warmly welcomes vistors over the weekend to come along to chat and learn about how amateur radio operates. This is always a very relaxed and sociable event.
Date: Saturday 28th and the morning of Sunday 29th May.
Venue: Tankardstown Mining Engine House.
WORDS is a spoken word event that takes place on the first Wednesday of every month in different venues on the Copper Coast. As part of European Geoparks Network Week we are really delighted to welcome WORDS to the Copper Coast Centre. All are welcome from writers and poets to literature lovers and storytellers. The WORDS event founders include the poet and writer Tom Power, Sean Corcoran of The Art Hand and Róisín Power Hackett, poet and artist. The event began back in July 2013 as a performance based writers group but has evolved since then to become a monthly celebration of literature and creativity.Words
This is an opportunity to perform and share your knowledge although there is absolutely no obligation to take part; relax and enjoy the show and get some inspiration if you’d prefer. All are welcome, though it is important to book.
Date: Wednesday, 1st June
Time: 7.45 pm.
Meeting Point: Copper Coast Geopark Centre, Bunmahon.
To Book: Text Sean Corcoran at 087 2524657
Contribution: €5. This includes refreshments.
Duration: 2-3 hours approx.  


Next Sunday – 20th March – come along to our Spring Fair in the Copper Coast Geopark Centre.
See who’s selling what, see who else is there – have a cup of tea and a chat, hear the news , spread the news. Spring is here!

Open from 11.00 to 4.30

A night for the locals!

We were very pleased to be asked by Bonmahon Tidy Towns and Community Group to provide the venue for a fundraising and social night in the Geopark Centre. And what a night it was – good food and wine, good company, good music and good vibes. Old friends and new faces – thank you for coming in!

We Got Involved – and we won something!

We teamed up with the Munster Express Newspaper to enter the national “Get Involved” community awards project, sponsored by Sustainable Energy Ireland and Clann Credo.  Following the publication of several full articles in the Munster Express and a process of adjudication we were thrilled to achieve third place in the Community Impact category – which we heard at an awards event in Dublin during March.  So many thanks to all who contributed articles and encouragement and to Kieran Foley of the Munster Express who kept us on track and to Kieran Walsh, proprietor of the Munster Express.

Biodiversity brought alive on the Copper Coast

Our Biodiversity Project was created to raise awareness in the area of the importance and benefits of biodiversity. It is a collaborative project with local Tidy Town groups and the National Schools and other community groups within the Copper Coast Geopark. The project is led by Alan Walshe, the Waterford representative of the Irish Wildlife Trust and, of late, a Bonmahon resident, and Lauren Browne.We have completed the first phase of the project during which we visited all of the national schools and explained about the importance of biodiversity, and improving it to the students. The sites in each of the villages for the projects were selected in conjunction with the Tidy Town volunteers.
In each village or community twin beds are being dug – one sown with wild flower seeds, one left to grow naturally. The whole interaction is also an opportunity to explore the symbiotic relationships all over nature which Alan brings out with engaging enthusiasm.

Two nights in February


"The Coast, The Copper, The Ancient East: County Waterford’s Archaeology.

Dave Pollock, leading Waterford archeologist, talked and entertained a full house around some of the archaeological remains on our coastal strip, from the megalithic tombs of the earliest farmers to the coastal fort at Dunabrattin, as well as further afield opening our eyes to the wealth of fascinating heritage that we pass by every day. Dave imparts his knowledge ligtly and with imagination.



Joey Whelan played the classical music of Spain.
It was an evening of Spanish magic on St Valentines weekend as Joey transported us south to dream of warmth and passion on this cool, dark winter's night. Food for the soul! And talking of food, we were thrilled that Javier and Michelle of local Mexican food enterprise, El Sombrero, brought their delicious wares to the table during the interval and introduced us most enetertainingly during the interval. Another full house in our beautiful venue!


Copper Coast Christmas Fair 2015!

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December - next weekend - will happen our annual Christmas Fair in the Copper Coast Geopark Centre. We would love to see you.

Do call in to see the wonderful range of stalls that we will have his year - get the Christmas shopping rolling, have a cup of tea and a chat and start to build that seasonal feeling of warm good will!!

Saturday 5th & 6th     12.00pm  -  4.00pm

If you need to know more please call us on   051 292828   087 2392625

The Copper Coast - a UNESCO Global Geopark!

The Copper Coast Geopark has become a UNESCO Global Geopark! We now have equivalent status to a World Heritage Site. A vote passed at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in Paris has meant that all Global Geoparks are designated as UNESCO sites. This is excellent news for Waterford, recognising the importance of our geological heritage and how we present it on the world stage.

We must give credit to and thank all those within the Global Geoparks Network and UNESCO who have worked incredibly hard to bring us all to this moment.

Ireland has three World Heritage sites - Newgrange, Skellig Michael and the Giant's Causeway, and now it has three UNESCO Global Geoparks - The Copper Coast Geopark, the oldest Geopark in Ireland, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

The Copper Coast has come a long way since becoming the seventh Geopark in the world in 2001; the three Irish UNESCO Global Geoparks are part of a network of 120 across the world. There are currently 69 in Europe as well as a substantial number in China, and growing interest across other continents.

This is a happy and satisfying day for all members of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network!!

Global Geoparks become UNESCO sites.

Another opportunity to Walk in the Footsteps of Edith Collier

Due to popular demand the guided walking tour of Bunmahon will be re-run on Saturday October 10th at 11am.

Starting location:
Copper Coast Auxiliary Exhibition Space

A visit to the Edith Collier exhibition followed by a 4k guided walk around Bunmahon, visiting some of the beautiful locations painted by Edith Collier during her time in and around the village 100 years ago and still recognisable today; returning to the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre.

Admission €5, accompanying children free
Leaders: Jim Cullinan and Orlaith Hamersley.
Price includes complimentary bottle of water and snack bar.
The walk will take approximately 2 hours

A Geographical Investigation at Annestown

"The impact of geomorphic process/processes and/or human activity on the development of landform(s) in a glaciated or fluvial or coastal or karst environment"

Students from Yeats College spent the morning of Friday 25th and Wednesday 30th September in Annestown working on their Geographical Investigation for the Leaving Certificate 2016.
As part of this field study trip the class spent the morning investigating and collecting data in a coastal environment which will then be interpreted in a report with graphs and discussion of their method of data collection, equipment used etc.

The finished reports will be formally submitted by 29th April 2016 and count towards a maximum of 20% of the students final grade.




The area was declared a European Geopark in 2001 and a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004. This geologically diverse area contains records of Palaeozoic volcanism and the last ice age. more


The Copper Coast is a stretch of the southern coast of Ireland in County Waterford. It is named for the historic metal-mining industry, the legacies of which now constitute a tourist attraction. more

Walking Trails

Along with an audio tour around Annestown, we also have walking trail cards for the villages along the Copper Coast. The trail cards can be printed or stored for viewing on your phone. more

Website by: Déise Design
A European Geopark Located In Co. Waterford, Ireland.