Berwickshire Marine Reserve prepares for visitors
Berwickshire Marine Reserve is gearing up for the staycation boom thanks to a grant of £6,300 from Greencoat Drone Hill Wind Farm Community Fund.
With increased visitor numbers as lockdown eases, the Berwickshire Marine Reserve charity plans to recruit two volunteer marine rangers to help people enjoy the Reserve responsibly.
Stretching from St Abbs Head to Eyemouth and extending out to the 50m depth contour, the Reserve covers over 10 square kilometres in total. Considered a world-renowned diving site owing to unusually clear waters, it boasts unique biodiversity with tropical species driven by the Gulf Stream meeting cold water species from Arctic currents. The Reserve was one of the first voluntary marine reserves set up in the UK and remains the only voluntary marine reserve in Scotland after David Bellamy opened it back in 1984.
The grant will also help the charity offer training and advice to local businesses and groups involved above and below the water, educating and encouraging local residents and tourists to enjoy the area responsibly. The Rangers will also put on a programme of activities for families and connect with local primary schools. From sea safaris to beach cleans & nurdle (plastic pellets) hunts or touch tank sessions to guided walks, the charity hopes there will be something for everyone. And with new virtual reality headsets, a virtual map and the ‘Marine Explorer’ App, the charity is hoping older people and community groups can experience the wonders of the Reserve without even getting their feet wet!
“The Berwickshire Marine Reserve is delighted to receive this funding. We continue to strive to conserve this unique coastal environment and we really appreciate the support given by the Drone Hill Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund.”
Alice Fisher, Berwickshire Marine Reserve’s Volunteer and Governance Manager
The latest decision-making round also awarded £8,000 to Cash For Kids (Radio Borders) to extend the ‘Holiday Hunger’ programme into local communities. Working in partnership with primary schools, the scheme will provide activity packs and food vouchers to help out during school holidays when free school meals aren’t available.
The application deadline for the next round of funding is 12th September 2021. For full details visit the Drone Hill Community Fund page.