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Marine Ranger Roundup Weeks 4 & 5


12 Jul 2023

For the last two weeks we have been busy getting ready for our Marine Education Centre and Lobster Hatchery to open and hosting the last of our school beach days! Find out more below about what we've been up to in weeks four and five.

For the last two weeks we have been busy getting ready for our Marine Education Centre and Lobster Hatchery to open and hosting the last of our school beach days! Find out more below about what we've been up to in weeks four and five.

Week 4

Beach day at Pease Bay with Cockburnspath Primary School

We were joined by Cockburnspath Primary School at Pease Bay on a slightly damp, but characteristically Scottish summer’s day on Monday. Head ranger Charlotte and ranger Sarah and Community Outreach Officer Lauren went hunting for some rockpool critters with the pupils, turning over rocks in search of crabs, a formidable hide-and-seek opponent. They also did a brilliant job of identifying sea shells found around the BMR. We investigated just how big some of the animals at the BMR can get by measuring how long some Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) can get and the pupils even drew some of their own, making some awesome cetacean illustrations. The pupils then helped us ensure we can keep the BMR as healthy as possible by cleaning some of the litter from the beach and seeing what wonders we could find through a scavenger hunt. We want to thank the kids for being our rays of sunshine on a rainy day and helping keep the BMR healthy. 

Marine Education Centre 

On Monday, in preparation for the opening of our Marine Education Centre (MEC), we cleaned and started composing the various and exciting components of our MEC. Over three days we ensured our lobster hatchery was ready for the arrival of our juvenile lobsters and our “berried” lobster Lizzie. Posters and fliers were created and set up to cover the walls sharing important information about the BMR, and telling people all about this important and beautiful ecosystem we share and the people we share it with. We have been decorating the tanks for the many critters inhabiting them. Seren took to the sea suited in a wetsuit and snorkel to bring some life to our tanks and took a video with a little quiz, so look out on our social media for that. Our MEC is now fully open and has something for people of all ages so come along and say hello to our rangers and see what the BMR is all about.

First Aid Training 

Mark from BBM Safety Training was at the Hippodrome on Thursday morning to run us through some first-aid training. Looking after the BMR is important for our rangers, but ensuring the safety of ourselves and our visitors is a priority. Mark put us through our paces and gave us all the tools and knowledge required to apply first aid if ever required. Our rangers are now ready for anything thrown our way. 

Week 5

Welcome to the Marine Education Centre 

This week our Marine Education Centre opened for the summer, bringing in locals and tourists and showing just what the BMR has to offer. Over a busy week, we have had the pleasure of showing off our adorable juvenile lobsters, which have received some funny name suggestions, and Lizzie, one of our two berried (egg-carrying) lobsters. We encourage everyone to visit our hatchery and watch our lobsters grow over the summer. Our VR station which simulates what diving is like in the BMR has been a massive hit among our younger and older visitors alike, with some spotting the elusive wolffish, which is just as elusive in real life, bottlenose dolphins, grey seals, and minke whales. For those fortunate enough the minke whales have been spotted not only virtually but have also been seen feeding from Eyemouth this past week, so keep your eyes peeled! To see just how these magnificent creatures feed, have a look at our marine mammal station at the MEC. We encourage a minimum donation fee of £1 but with teas and coffees the MEC makes a perfect stop not only for learning but for a rest on some of our harsher “summer” days.

Beach Clean with Plexus 

On Wednesday Finlay was joined by Plexus employees who graciously volunteered to help with a beach clean at Killiedraught Bay. With a short walk to the beach, the sun luckily made an appearance and our volunteers made a monumental effort to clean the beach. By the end of the clean, the team had removed 12.5 kg of litter from the shore, from hundreds of small pieces of plastic to a tyre, countless pieces of fishing line – some with lures and hooks still attached – and shoe soles. After the cleaning our volunteers partook in a spontaneous rockpool ramble, finding some of our less-seen critters, such as a porcelain crab, sea urchins, and pipefish. We would like to say a massive thank you to the volunteers from Plexus for their help and impressive haul!

Rockpool Rambling 

On Thursday Sarah and Finlay took two separate groups on rockpool rambles. Sarah was joined by the National Trust in St Abbs for a fantastic and eventful rockpool session, being able to look up from the pools which are teaming with marine life to see the nesting seabirds that inhabit the cliffs of St Abbs head in their thousands. A family group joined us for rockpooling, finding lots of crabs and were brilliant at finding fish, some of which are in the photo. Finlay took Wooler Primary School, which had made a long journey to Coldingham Bay, down into the local pools. There were sea anemones plenty and with keen eyes the mini-marine biologists found some of the largest shore crabs the BMR has to offer, making sure to keep fingers well clear of their impressive claws. 

Coldingham Leisure Park Charity Day

Sarah and Finlay attended Coldingham Leisure Park’s charity day, interacting with the holidaymakers and visitors to elaborate on just how important the area is and how much it has to offer, eagerly answering questions and passionately championing the BMR. We had some very passionate nurdle hunters who got their eye in quickly, and our very own smack of jellyfish was created.

Thank you for joining us for weeks four and five of the blog! Make sure to check back in next week for more ranger updates.

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