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DWT Welly Zone/PANACHE ‘Know Your Seaweeds’ event

April 18, 2013

Venue/date: Osmington Mills beach (next to the Smugglers Inn pub) DT3 6HF; April 14th 2013, 13.00 – 16.00

DWT’s Marine Survey and Data Officer Charlotte Bolton and local consultant marine biologist Dr. Lin Baldock were joined by 7 intrepid volunteers on Saturday afternoon to brave challenging weather conditions and learn more about the seaweeds to be found on local Dorset beaches. Given the driving rain and southerly gale, which combined with a less-than ideal tide to expose only the upper part of the beach, the activities were restricted to a walkover survey. In this type of survey, attention is not restricted to the area of the beach along a transect or within a quadrat, but is free-ranging. Species were identified and recorded along with the littoral (beach) habitat in which they occurred (e.g. Enteromorpha (green algae) zone, Corallina rockpool zone, Laminaria (kelp) zone).

Explaining the difference between the wracks Fucus vesiculosus and F. spiralis

We also attempted a photographic transect survey, in which a series of overlapping images are mosaicked together with software to provide a 3D image of the beach. This was not totally successful in the lower part of the beach due to the height of tide – too much water produces too many reflections to befuddle the software. But the results were promising enough that similar such surveys will be attempted in the future.

Lots of enthusiasm -  despite the horrendous conditions!

Lots of enthusiasm – despite the horrendous conditions!

Just before hypothermia really set in and we repaired to the Smugglers Inn for well-deserved hot chocolate, we collected a large crateful of rubbish (mostly plastic bottles) from the strandline and path back up to the car park.
Thanks very much to the volunteers who joined us on Saturday – we hope to see you again soon on an event with better weather and an extended range of activities!

Charlotte

Marine Survey and data officer

 

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