Regional teams

[Activity reporting form]

The following project teams are active in the UK:

Fireworks Anemone Monitoring Project

Lochs Duich, Long and Alsh are a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Scottish Highlands with extensive burrowed mud habitats. The nationally rare fireworks anemone (Pachycerianthus multiplicatus) can be found in significant numbers within the MPA and are specific to very sheltered sites in fjordic sea lochs. Beds of this species are a UK Priority Marine Feature and of special conservation concern due to their apparent slow growth rate and vulnerability to environmental changes. This project monitors a previously undocumented anemone bed in Loch Alsh.

Project managers: Vanessa Charles and Martin Hynd

Social media: Facebook

Loch Long

The project aims to document environmental conditions in Loch Long on the west coast of Scotland and contribute to conservation and scientific initiatives in the region. Loch Long is a saltwater sea loch approximately 20 miles long and around 1-2 miles wide with depths ranging from 6 to 56 metres. The loch is home to a wide array of sea life, from plant life, small crustaceans, fish, eels and large marine mammals such as porpoises and seals. There is an oil terminal on the loch which provides deep water berths for tankers. The project aims to ascertain whether this commercial activity has any bearing on the underwater conditions within the loch.

Project managers: Ryan Mcshane and Andy Pilley

Social media: Facebook

Midland Pools

The Midland Pools Project seeks to document freshwater bodies formed in former quarries in the English counties of Leicestershire and Warwickshire. The sites are of significance due to the geological formations they reveal and the habitat they provide for wildlife, most notably the endangered white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes). The sites are often local nature reserves and may also be designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Nevertheless the management of the water bodies can be challenging due to deep water and difficult access resulting in the accumulation of litter over time. The project aims to map the quarry pools and record any geological, remaining cultural heritage and wildlife present (especially crayfish species). The water quality will be monitored over time and litter will be removed from the water and the margins. The project will provide a community focus for divers and will enable their skills to be accessed by nature reserve operators.

Project managers: Martin Maple and Robert Corby

Social media: Facebook

North Sea Wrecks

Based in North East England, the North Sea Wrecks Project will conduct baseline surveys using the citizen science approach, collecting data on temperature, visibility and any species of special interest. The project area stretches from St Abbs on the Berwickshire Coastline, Scotland to Flamborough Head in North Yorkshire, England. We will collaborate with global organizations while collecting data and when possible assisting activities beneficial to the North Sea. 2021 is our first year and an exciting time to get involved as we focus on prominent shipwrecks this season and establish multiple stations across the project area.

Project managers: Duncan Simpson and Dan McMullen

Social media: Facebook

Weymouth & Portland

Portland Harbour started life as a natural shelter for passing shipping, protected by the Isle of Portland and Chesil Beach only. In 1845 the Royal Navy established a base at Portland and it was decided that the ships stationed there would require additional protection from the elements. As a result the southerly portion of the manmade breakwater was constructed using Portland Stone from the local quarries, and was completed in 1872. The rest of the breakwater sections were not built with the weather in mind, but to protect naval vessels from torpedo attack and this resulted in the remaining two sections of the harbour being constructed in 1906. To complete the torpedo defence structure, a decommissioned naval ship (HMS Hood) was scuttled across the most southerly entrance to the harbour in 1914. Unfortunately whilst the wreck is still in place, it is no longer accessible to divers on safety grounds. The Weymouth & Portland project aims to document and monitor the flora and fauna of the Weymouth and Portland area as well as the popular wrecks within the large manmade harbour. The team intend to establish a baseline understanding of the area, through detailed documentation, as well as continued monitoring of the condition of the harbour wrecks into the future.

Project manager: Marcus Rose

Social media: Facebook

UK Exploration Project

The waters around the south coast of the UK have a rich history of shipping, from naval ships to sailing boats these waters contain hundreds of shipwrecks, many of which have never been identified. The local community is very proud of its maritime history and adding further to the current archives of shipwreck data will be invaluable. The UK Exploration Project aims to locate, identify, and explore shipwrecks in these coastal waters. The objective of the research will focus on documenting some of the basic data of each site, using a combination of video, photography, photogrammetry, 3-D models and sketches. The current preservation state and any environmental factors affecting the wrecks will also be investigated. It is hoped that further exploration of any unidentified wrecks will yield enough data for formal identification.

Project manager: Neil Powell

Social media: Facebook