29 Aug 2023
Welcome to the final ranger roundup of 2023! The team thoroughly enjoyed their last week with the BMR getting stuck in with many activities like rockpool rambles, beach cleans and Eyemouth RNLI Gala Day. Sarah, Seren and Finlay would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has engaged with us over the past few months and we are looking forward to an action packed summer next year!
Our Marine Education Centre and Lobster Hatchery has been a great success, drawing in people from around the local area, and from people visiting from much further afield. As rangers, we have had a brilliant opportunity to interact with everyone who has visited us in the MEC and we are extremely proud of the number of people we have managed to reach and have managed to share our beautiful reserve with - over 2500! Our hatchery has managed to produce a number of stage four larvae which will be released at some point throughout September, and we have managed to show off the cute side of the European Lobster. We are now in the final week of the MEC so make sure to come down if you want one final chance to have a chat and meet our cute little critters.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone our bioblitz dives due to the slightly wild, wet, and windy weather we had a few weeks ago. So, on a much nicer and sunnier Wednesday we left St Abbs Harbour onboard St Abbs Charters boat Stingray with 3 lovely divers to see how many species they could find. We were also joined by the team from St Abbs National Trust who took the opportunity to see how the gannet colony was doing as well as Valerie from TREC who are currently travelling around Europe to gather soil samples for further analysis.
The first site we went to was anemone gullies, famously named that due to the mass numbers found on the rocks on this particular site. Whilst the divers were in the water the NTS team showed us the gannets chicks and some interesting facts about them - the chicks actually look bigger than the adults due to their fluffy feathers. Thye were also able to spot 2 gannet chicks that couldnt be seen from the cliffs. Once the divers surfaced and Charlotte helped get them back on board, they sat down with Lauren to go through all the species identified on their dive.
During our surface interval our very keen eyed NTS rangers spotted a minke whale off in the distance which we added to our species identified. Unfortunately no dolphins were seen on this particular trip.
Our second site was a wreck known as the Peanut boat as it was carrying peanuts when it crashed. As it is only in about 10-15m of water there are only pieces of the boat left including 2 boilers which are full of life. Whilst the divers were down we enjoyed a lovely hot drink and embraced the scenic views of the coastline.
In total we found over 25 different species and had a great day out on the boat interacting with new and old faces. A big thank you to Danny and St Abbs Charters for the use of the boat and Simpsons Malt for funding it.
Seren and the NTSs’ David headed on down to Starney Bay to take an enthusiastic group for some rockpool exploring! With a headcount of 19 guests (and two dogs), it really was the perfect ending to her personal successions of rambles over the last 3 months. Not to mention, some who joined were recurring, which is always a boost for our team.
As soon as we began, it was clear our group was enthusiastic. Competitive goals were set out, one clear one: to find a crab. It was hard to distinguish who was more excited: children or parents.
In addition to a large number of anemones we found many fish, primarily blennies and gobies. Rocks were turned over, boulders climbed, however the crabs eluded us. Some thought to have been spotted, however, never to be caught…Until! Right at the very end, one of our group came over with a crab they thought to be dead. However, upon further inspection, it was clear this crab was in fact molting. It was half way out of its older external skeleton, with its newer, softer body protruding from a slit in the back. It was very soft, so we did not allow touching. We simply gathered around the bucket as Seren explained the process. We then returned the crab to its safe area to continue this phenomenal evolutionary process.
Ruler of the Reserve
Our 6-week-long Ruler of the Reserve social media tournament has come to a head after 6 weeks. In a not-so-close final the European Lobster absolutely “crushed” (pardon the pun) the Atlantic Wolffish to be crowned the BMR’s Ruler of the Reserve. Thank you to everyone who interacted with the tournament over the last 6 weeks, and if you missed it you can still view the stories on our story highlight reel on Instagram under “ROTR”.
Eyemouth RNLI Gala
On Saturday 26th August, Sarah and Seren attended our last event at Eyemouth RNLI Gala day. A day that started out a wee bit grey and maybe a tad damp, turned into a surprisingly sunny summer day. We were sharing a gazebo with the wonderful NTS lot, making the transition from one conservation message to the other natural and easy for our visitors- all 133 of them! A big thanks to the NTS for sharing their dry space with us.
Children and adults alike had lots of fun making jellyfish and peg creatures, as well as exploring our display of natural materials and learning about our nurdle hunt! A brilliant day with good company, good music, good food (the fresh doughnuts were delicious) and watching the lifeboats in the harbour.
Ranger’s Final Week
This was our final week as Marine Rangers with the BMR and we are all sad to be finishing. We have loved every second of the summer, working with people from all over the world, of all ages. We have managed to keep our beaches clean and educate schools, working groups, and the general public about the BMR, the animals you can find here, and the BMR and the public's role in protecting them. We have seen all manner of weather and persevered through it all and wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you to everyone who has made this summer a great one and we hope to be back.
Charlotte, Sarah, Seren, and Finlay.