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2011 Studland Seahorse and Seagrass Project Comes To A Close

September 7, 2011

By Tom Barnfield, DWT Studland Seagrass Warden

Believe it or not, we are in the last week of the 2011 Studland Seahorse and Seagrass Project. I don’t know about you, but the summer went far too quickly for my liking!

We had a little change to proceedings last week with our participation in the Sandbanks Fun Day. Glorious sunshine greeted us in the morning and it stayed with us throughout the day. There were numerous tents/gazebo’s set up along the main entrance to Sandbanks beach with representatives from The RSPB, The National Trust, Poole County Council and of course Marc, Melinda and I for Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT).

We had a strong ocean theme to our tent with Melinda and me informing visitors of the special ecosystem we have at Studland Bay, why it needs conserving, and the potential designation of the area as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ). This linked nicely to Marc who was promoting and garnering support for MCZs and DWT’s Great Dorset Seafood campaign, as well as spreading shark knowledge and the urgent need for their protection. There were kids activities at each tent but the prospect of making sea-life fridge magnets and testing your shark knowledge was drawing the biggest crowds and had the DWT tent buzzing all day!

As for this week, today saw the dawn of our final day kayaking out to the boats in Studland Bay, and to be honest, it was a bit of an anti-climax! We arrived with perfect conditions (albeit slightly overcast) but had just 7 boats to visit. With such calm conditions we had all the boats done in less than 2 hours and so headed back to the Kimmeridge Marine Centre where we are now filling in data and preparing to write up the report.

Melinda and I would also like to thank everyone who has helped us throughout the project and to everyone who has filled out our questionnaires!

A special thank you also goes to Dan at Studland Sea School for the kayak training and hire and also to the National Trust team at Studland for the use of the Discovery Centre, car parks, huts and equipment.

So thats it from me. I hope you had a great summer and keep checking the website for updates!

Tom

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