Experts tour the Petrified Forest of Lesvos.
Geopark experts have arrived on the holiday island of Lesvos this week to study the petrified forest in the remote western region of Lesvos island. Park evaluation takes place every four years to ensure high quality standards of maintenance, infrastructure and the services. It also checks that parks meet the criteria of the World Geoparks Network under the auspices of UNESCO.
The Petrified Forest of Lesvos was the first to be included in the European Geoparks Network in 2000.
Since 2004 the forest has been part of UNESCO's World Geoparks Network, bringing it worldwide recognition and making it a popular tourist destination for holidaymakers in the Greek islands.
In Greece there are four official Geoparks, the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, the Natural Park Psiloritis in Crete, the Helms-Park Vouraikos in the Peloponnese, and the Hairy-Aoos in Epirus.
The Petrified Forest of Lesbos was formed from the fossilized remains of plants and is enclosed by the villages of Eressos, Antissa and Sigri. Fossilized tree trunks are more than 20 million years old.
The Petrified Forest of Lesvos is managed by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest which has a permanent exhibition of the fossil remains of more than 40 different species.
Isolated plant fossils can been found in many other parts of the island, including the villages of Molyvos, Polichnitos, Plomari and Akrasi.
In previous reviews, in 2004 and 2007, the Petrified Forest achieved the highest rating among European Geoparks and is considered the leading world Geopark.