At the start of last year, we announced the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES marine project to improve the condition of sensitive seabed habitats within five Special Areas of Conservation in southern England. Since then, the project have carried out practical work, conducted research, produced best practice guidance, and connected with schools, communities, volunteers and leisure boaters.
You may have taken part in one of the online boater meetings or participated in the boater survey we conducted throughout November and early December. If so, thank you. Your input has helped the team to understand more about the relationship between boating and seagrass, which is vital information for the project’s work.
‘Anchoring and Mooring with Care’ webinars for leisure boaters have also been held and recently we have launched ‘The Green Guide to Anchoring and Moorings’. You can download the guide for free and find out more about protected seabed habitats and how to minimise any impacts from boating activities. It includes information about Advanced Mooring Systems (AMS) and perhaps you’ve already seen the LIFE ReMEDIES’ AMS being trialled in the Solent near Yarmouth Harbour on the Isle of Wight. The AMS are being used in place of existing chain moorings which can damage delicate seabed habitats. The ReMEDIES team have been working closely with Yarmouth Harbour Master on trialling these AMS, and how they perform here will help inform how we introduce them to other areas.
Project partners, Ocean Conservation Trust, and a team of volunteer divers are preparing to secure 25,000 seed bags and 5,000 seedling bags to the seabed in Plymouth Sound. Our work collecting, cultivating, and replanting seagrass seed is a first for England at this scale, so this is a particularly exciting time for the project and you can keep up to date with all the latest news by following the project on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @EULIFERemedies. Plus, look out for the new website launching in the coming months.
Recreation ReMEDIES is a four-year project funded by the LIFE programme and led by Natural England in partnership with Royal Yachting Association, Marine Conservation Society, Ocean Conservation Trust and Plymouth City Council/Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum. For more information, email LifeRemedies@naturalengland.org.uk