Calling all marine enthusiasts

Northumberland Wildlife Trust and MARINElife, a charity devoted to the conservation of marine wildlife, are joining forces to help protect wildlife in the North Sea in order to have a better understanding of marine mammals such as dolphins and whales, and the seabirds frequenting the North Sea coast.

Robust data can help monitor changes in populations, inform management decisions and is used to advise the government towards the appropriate designation of Marine Protected Areas, which will protect the key habitats for our migrant marine species.  Without the tireless efforts of MARINELife volunteers, the work of the two charities would be a lot more difficult.

The two organizations are now inviting members of the public to become marine detectives in their spare time by taking part in a whale, dolphin and seabirds identification course on Saturday 14 March (10:00 - 16:30) at Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre at Low Hauxley, Druridge Bay.

By taking part in the course, participants will be taught how to observe and identify marine wildlife and its need for protection together with the opportunity to learn new skills and develop practical survey experience. 

Once participants have completed the training course, they are welcome to volunteer as a trainee researcher aboard over 20 different vessels, conducting surveys in the seas around the UK.

The course will be run by Dr Martin Kitching, MARINELife North East Regional Officer and North East Cetacean Project Coordinator, he says: “So much of the North Sea remains unexplored, so having the opportunity to head off out there and carry out the surveys is a wonderful chance for people to learn more about the what lies beneath the North Sea.”

Bookings can be made by e-mailing at a cost of £50 or £45 for Northumberland Wildlife Trust members.