"Geotopes are geological formations of inanimate nature that convey knowledge about the development of the earth and life. They include outcrops of rocks, soils, minerals and fossils as well as individual natural creations and natural landscape parts. These may be natural or man-made outcrops, landscape forms or phenomena showing the action of geological forces and traces of fossil life". This is how the Hessische Landesamt für Naturschutz, Umwelt und Geologie (HLNUG) defines the term. Geotopes are of value for science, research and teaching, natural history and local history.
They are very diverse: In the region you can find striking rock formations, geologically interesting outcrops of rock sequences or soils, important mineral or fossil sites, caves, moors, lakes, springs or even streams that seep into permeable rock layers.
Over 200 geotopes
The HLNUG has been recording geotopes as objects worthy of protection since 1978. The geotopes were also documented in the Vogelsberg, and after completion of this project more than 200 geotopes were recorded in the Vogelsberg region. "Only those geotopes which are characterised by their special geological significance, rarity, peculiarity or beauty are to be protected from the totality of the geotopes", the HLNUG stipulates. The geotopes should be made accessible, maintained and preserved through this use. Since the foundation of the geopark, geologically particularly valuable geotopes have gradually been provided with informative display boards.