Berwickshire Marine Reserve Marine Monitoring

Credit © Berwickshire Marine Reserve

Last year the Berwickshire Marine Reserve (BMR) received £3000 from the Community Support Fund to help them build organisational capacity to monitor pressures that threaten coastal biodiversity and promote people’s ability to appreciate and protect it.

The grant enabled Alice Fisher, the Volunteer and Governance Manager, to support Alex Higgs, the Project Officer, plus four Volunteer Marine Rangers, to launch a new citizen science “Marine Monitoring” project to record the presence and abundance of marine species present on the rocky shore.

With the help of over 60 volunteers, and following NatureScot’s community-led marine biodiversity monitoring handbook, the team manoeuvred across the shoreline with quadrats and transect tape to collect data on the health of coastal intertidal habitats. This is the first year BMR has been involved with the programme with the aim to establish a baseline of data covering three sites (St Abbs, Coldingham Bay & Killiedraughts Beach). They can now monitor how their rocky shore biodiversity changes overtime.

The grant has also enabled BMR to enhance community participation in marine conservation in many other ways, including through Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s Shorewatch programme and the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch programme. And this is all on top of BMR’s usual calendar of activities, including school and nursery education events, nurdle hunts, and running their outreach trailer at St Abbs Harbour.  It’s been a busy summer for BMR and we look forward to see what they get up in 2022!

Visit the BMR website for more information.

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