Rise up to the challenge of the sea

Tuesday 11th July 2017

St Mary's Lighthouse from Seaton Sluice, photo Cain Scrimgeour

Northumberland Wildlife Trust is encouraging everybody in the region to make a pledge to look after the sea as part of the UK-wide celebrations for National Marine Week (NMW) 2017.

During NMW, which is spread across two weeks in order to take advantage of the tides, people across the UK are being invited to support The Sea and Me challenge which is asking everyone to make a pledge for the sea, for example, to say no to single use plastics such as cups, bags and straws which all too often end up in the oceans.

Whatever the weather and whatever the budget, the north east coast is able to offer everybody their very own marine adventure, and, as an added bonus, Northumberland Wildlife Trust will be hosting a number of marine events.

The Living Seas: Big Watch Weekend is running on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August, between 10am - 4pm. Join the wildlife charity’s Living Seas team for a free marine themed mammal weekend to spot dolphins and more on the cetacean watch and enjoy games and activities on Cresswell Foreshore. There’s no need to book - just turn up and get involved.

Anybody wanting to know how to spot their whelks from their winkles and learn more about the wonderful world and weird creatures living along the north east shore is invited to join Living Seas Team for a Rockpooling event on Wednesday 9 August between 10am - 12pm. There is a £3.00 charge for the event and places do need to be booked at: www.nwt.org.uk/events/2017/08/09/rockpooling. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Aurelie Bohan, Northumberland Wildlife Trust Living Seas Officer said: “During National Marine Week I want people to get out and start to explore what lives in, on and around our shores and to discover the secrets of our seas too. The UK’s coastline is host to an amazing array of wildlife; many thousands of species live in our seas including intricate corals, whales & dolphins, basking sharks, seals, and a myriad of fascinating fish, crustaceans and molluscs.

“One of our most endangered animals lives in the North Sea. The skate is now almost extinct in the UK and skate which people buy in fish and chip shops is actually imported from Iceland.

Aurelie concluded: “The diversity of marine life is precious; although some of our waters are protected, we need a network of ecologically coherent sites creating a ‘blue belt’ around the entire UK to support nationally important habitats and species, but we could all do our bit now by taking up The Sea and Me challenge.”

Around the UK there’ll be a huge choice of events for adults and children, and many activities perfect for family days out during the school holidays. For more details visit: www.wildlifetrusts.org/weekends/marine. Don't forget to share your marine images with us on Facebook and Twitter #TheSeaAndMe