Make the most of the coast with Suffolk Wildlife Trust this summer and spot shoreline treasures and ocean giants this National Marine Week. The celebration runs from 27th July to 11th August 2019 (actually running over a fortnight to take advantage of the tides) and showcases wonderful seaside wildlife around the UK.
A fabulous programme of events including seashore fossil hunting and wild beach activities will take place across Suffolk and The Wildlife Trusts will also be launching a brand-new version of their popular citizen science project, Shoresearch, calling on everyone to get involved in monitoring marine life on UK shores. To help us do this The Wildlife Trusts have published a range of colourful sea-side spotter guides and marine activity sheets to help all ages enjoy the beach. There are guides to marine megafauna, rockpool wildlife, seabirds, jellyfish, plastic reduction and even instructions to make your own felt crab!
There’s even more reason to celebrate the seas in Suffolk this year as the county received designation of its very first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in June. Forming part of a national network of 91 MCZs in England, creating a blue belt of protected marine habitat around the country, Suffolk’s MCZ, called Orford Inshore, is actually situated off shore from Orford and was designated in the Government’s third tranche for its nursery and spawning grounds for species including, Dover sole, lemon sole and sand eels. Colourful species of burrowing anemones can be found within the sediment, alongside sea cucumbers, urchins and starfish. Several nationally important shark species are also found within the site, including the smallspotted catshark. The area is also important for foraging seabirds and harbour porpoise are often spotted passing through.*
Joan Edwards, Director of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“The seas around the UK deserve their own celebration. Every summer, millions of people are drawn to the coast and are delighted by the wildlife they can see there. The Wildlife Trusts have some fantastic events and activities lined up.”
In the UK, we are never more than 70 miles from the coast. The Wildlife Trusts’ campaign for better protection for wildlife and its home around the UK. They recently welcomed the news that the Government is designating a third phase of new Marine Conservation Zones bringing the total to 91 of these specially protected underwater landscapes around our shores. The data collected through Shoresearch will help experts monitor our fragile sea life and better understand the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive alien species.
Bev Rogers, learning officer at Suffolk Wildlife Trust said: “Suffolk’s beaches act as wonderful classrooms for nature activities in the summer months. During Marine Week we’ll be running a course for teenagers at Bawdsey where they can hunt for sharks’ teeth and try their hand at pewter casting from a cuttlefish bone. We’ll also be running a three-day long holiday club at Sizewell beach in August, where we’ll be spending the days beachcombing and learning about marine wildlife.”
Browse and book marine week activities at: https://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/events?category=All&type=&location_term=684&local_group=&date_from=&date_to=&location=&tags=&suitable_for=All
Further North Sea conservation information: https://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/northsea
Follow #NationalMarineWeek on Twitter and Instagram
- Read more from Joan Edwards in her blog “Watershed in battle to save our seas” following the Government’s announcement of 41 new Marine Conservation Zones.
- *Information from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805511/mcz-orford-inshore-2019.pdf