Friday, 21 February 2020

Marine Litter Survey

2020 has been declared the UK Year of Climate Action.

This past year has seen climate change become much higher on the list of issues that is pushing worldwide countries to tackle it head on. At the end of this year, Glasgow is playing host to the UN COP26. This is the United Nations 26th Climate Change conference, and the UK has declared that intends to have net zero emissions by 2050.
In terms of caring for our planet one of the issues has had the most spotlight time in the last few years is plastic pollution. This is by no means the only problem the planet’s ecosystems face, but it is a good place to start. 

Lindisfarne Natural Nature Reserve has great programmes for helping up and coming conservationists get into the field and get some experience. This is what I, Flora, am currently involved with- a fun-filled placement. To get the best out of my time with them I have started a litter project on two of the beaches that are very popular on Holy Island. Sandham Bay and Coves Haven. The concept is very simple, keep these beaches clean! Every two weeks I can be seen trooping up and down the beaches collecting all non-natural items that have either washed up or been dropped on the beach. By recording exactly what is being removed from the beaches I hope to be able to spot any patterns and try to come up with a plan for reducing the waste in the future.

Study Site 1 - Sandham Bay

Study Site 2 - Coves Haven

There are many reasons people decide to start giving their time to different organisations and mine are simple enough- to get some experience in the UK conservation field to help with finding a job in the (hopefully!) near future. The extras you as a volunteer get, among others, is training within different ecosystems and in different survey techniques, learning how to communicate and educate effectively with the general public and the bonus is you also get some great memories and laughs to take with you on your journeys to come.

When the term ‘climate change’ is heard, often people believe the whole concept is too big for them as an individual to help with. Maybe we can’t solve it in one individual, but everybody can make a difference on some level, be it reducing their fuel consumption or electric use, reducing one-use plastic purchases, recycling correctly, never littering or many other simple changes. Then, with Lindisfarne NNR contributing to this world issue by protection of both wild spaces and wildlife, to help nature balance itself here in the UK, we begin to see a way forward together with climate change.


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