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Marine Week at Kimmeridge

August 10, 2011
By Nicola Geary, Volunteer Marine Warden
As one of the new volunteer marine wardens at Kimmeridge Bay, fresh out of university and a fair distance from my landlocked urbanized Hertfordshire home, I have been overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of marine life here.  In the very short time that I have had the pleasure of working and living on the Dorset coast it has taught me a great deal about issues affecting this particular stretch of coastline as well as wider problems affecting the whole of the UK.

What better way to celebrate the marine diversity and raise awareness about these issues than an extremely busy and successful marine week with over 150 people taking part in our scheduled daily activities and over 1800 visitors stepping through the marine centre doors alone.  Events included eco-friendly crabbing where families were shown how to catch crabs responsibly using a net bag instead of a hook – hooks can get caught in the mouths of fish and other animals. Others were lucky enough to celebrate and enjoy the bay from a slightly different angle with a trip on our popular Kayak Safari which had crystal clear visibility and perfect weather conditions.

The new face of ‘The Wildlife Trusts’ Petition Fish campaign, Bernard the Gurnard, made an appearance on a mission to spread the word on Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s). The governments deadline for setting up a country-wide network of MPA’s by 2012 is looming and it is important to get as much public support in order to gain greater protection for our sea’s; with your support the wildlife within these designated area’s will be able to thrive because they will be buffered from damaging human activities.

“No! Wait! Come back! I want to talk to you about Marine Protected Area’s!”


If the government  get it right and the proposed area’s are well managed through regulation, allowed to recover from past damage, and are located in places where the wildlife will gain the most (i.e rare and threatened habitats)  then both the wildlife and people will benefit from healthy, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas in the future.  By signing our petition fish you be influencing the decisions that will affect our marine environment for many generations to come. To find out more about Bernard the Gurnard please visit  and if you would like to sign our petition online go to

 My favourite part of the week involved leading groups of visitors on Rockpool Rambles where we came across five different crabs: velvet swimming crabs, green shore crabs, shore crabs, edible crabs and a tiny juvenile spider crab complete with copious amounts of seaweedy camouflage on its back. More unusual finds were a green paddleworm but it slimed off before I got a chance to take a photo and a species of sea slater. Those participating seemed to have a great few hours rock pooling with a young child quoting it was the “best day of my life”. As far as I know children aren’t capable of sarcasm at such a young age and it can only be taken as evidence of yet another successful DWT event! Hurrah!

Group of visitors smiling in anticipation as we head off for a rockpool ramble with a juvenile Bernard the Gurnard in tow




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