Younger and non-diving members of scuba divers’ families get the opportunity to join in with immersion in all things marine biological around the UK when The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week 2020 gets under way on 25 July.
Although many of the usual organised outdoor events have had to be cancelled this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, the week has been expanded to a fortnight to take advantage of the tides, and runs through to 9 August.
Getting involved ranges from joining in from home via online webinars and videos to rockpool rambles and socially distanced sea-watches for those who can get to the seaside, says The Wildlife Trusts, an organisation made up of 46 regional charities with more than 850,000 members.
A DIY Shore Life Spotter Guide is available to download, and all those who do get out are encouraged to record and submit their findings. There is also a marine wildlife experiences prize competition.
“Our shorelines offer a tantalising glimpse of the incredible underwater world surrounding our island home,” says science and natural history broadcaster Liz Bonnin, an ambassador for the event.
“By taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week challenge you’ll not only be immersing yourself in the wonders of our coasts, you’ll also be playing your part in bringing our seas back to life and helping to support a greater understanding of our spectacular marine creatures.”
The Wildlife Trusts’ educational drive feeds into its current campaign to encourage the government to implement within a year a programme of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). It believes that this new type of designation offers a “gold standard” of marine protection, and that consequent removal of harmful pressures would enable recovery of endangered habitats and marine life.