A geopark is an administered territory containing the natural, historical and cultural heritage, unique geological sites and terrains, which is adapted for recreational, social and other purposes.
The main principle of the geopark’s work is a complex approach to management: nowadays conservation is only one of the directions, which you can take to develop protected areas. Any natural area possessing a unique terrain has the potential to become a geopark.
The Toratau Geopark is located at the joint of the southern part of the Urals and the eastern outskirts of the East European Platform. The territory is rich in unique geological sites that are of scientific, historic, natural, educational and aesthetic value.
The age of the most valuable geological sections is between 1 billion and 250 million years. One of the main objects of the geopark – the Usolka section, is the first “golden nail” in Russia. This is the name given to an internationally acclaimed point of reference of an ancient period of time.
Flora and fauna
The territory of the Toratau geopark is incredibly biologically diverse. In one day, you’ll see the vast forest steppes and explore the cool mountain creeks, covered in dense broad wood forests. And in the southern part of the geopark you’ll see the meadow steppes with blooming needle grass.
When you run the Zilim River you’ll hear the rare falcons cry. You’ll see the pine forests with lots of herbs, juniper thickets and shady fir forests that remained from the ice ages. In these forests you can meet wild animals and rare plants, for example, you can come across a real natural wonder – lady’s slipper.
Currently, the historical and cultural heritage of the Toratau geopark includes about 100 archaeological sites (Paleolithic - New Time), several dozens of architectural monuments, objects of religious pilgrimage, obelisks, steles and monuments of the 20th century, museums and intangible heritage. But all this is only a small part, recorded and described by experts.
We still do not know how big this heritage actually is. One of the most important tasks of the geopark is to identify, study and present to visitors the whole diversity of historical and cultural heritage that has been preserved for millennia in this unique territory.
Ключевая задача дирекции геопарка «Торатау» – поддержка и участие в уникальных образовательных и научно-исследовательские программах.
Здесь вы можете ознакомиться с образовательными программами, разработанными геогидами и научными сотрудниками геопарка.