Additional Online Resources for Use of Marine Conservation Advice Packages Published by Natural England

May 1st, 2019

Natural England has a responsibility to provide Conservation Advice for all Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) within England’s inshore waters (out to 12 nautical miles) to support sites to achieve their conservation objectives and to guide effective management.  A range of  supplementary material is now available online to to aid users navigate and understand Marine Conservation Advice. Resources available include guidance videos, FAQs, an interactive map, glossary and supporting material.

The supporting material can be accessed at this link 

Recruitment for new Marine Reserve Coordinator for the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (VMR)

April 25th, 2019

The St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve are currently recruiting for a new Marine Reserve Coordinator. Details of the post are below:

Marine Reserve Coordinator

St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (VMR)

Location: Eyemouth, Scottish Borders

Salary: £28,000 – £30,300 pa with the potential for an extension depending on successful funding applications.

Type of Contract: Full time, fixed term, 37 hrs/week, until 30th April 2020.

Covering 10.3km2 of coastal waters, the VMR was established in 1984 to promote the conservation of this outstanding area of marine environment. The VMR has a number of stakeholder and user groups working within its boundaries. There are numerous commercial shellfish fishermen, a large SCUBA diving community with affiliated businesses and other recreational users.

The post holder will be the face of this iconic Voluntary Marine Reserve, leading the organisation, developing and managing projects to ensure the rich coastal waters continue to be conserved whilst at the same time promoting responsible and sustainable use for commercial and recreational activities.

The VMR Coordinator can expect to be “hands on” dealing with operational issues on site, scientific monitoring and research projects, engaging and educating the public about the role of the VMR, marine conservation and the value of the coastal waters.  The successful applicant will also be in charge of managing the exciting “Seabed Interpretation Project” using new and innovative technologies, creating a virtual visitor centre with multiple engagement platforms.

Applicants should be self-motivated, enthusiastic and energetic with initiative, as well as having excellent IT, project management, financial management, leadership and communication skills with proven experience.

Closing date:  5pm Friday 10/05/19
Interviews: Saturday 18/05/19 in Eyemouth.

Application pack and further information please contact:

Sarah Russell
t: 07818227307



City Nature Challenge 2019 (April 26th-29th )

April 16th, 2019

City Nature Challenge is an international competition where cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people. The aim is for local residents to discover and record as much wildlife as possible over a four-day period. Last year saw 68 cities from five continents compete, with San Francisco being declared the overall winner.

City Nature Challenge 2019 will take place between Friday 26th April and  Monday 29th April. This year the North East of England will be entering the challenge in an event coordinated by the Great North Museum: Hancock, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the Environmental Records Information Centre North East. Participation is easy and only requires a mobile phone. Go to  and download the iNaturalist mobile app. Use it during the competition dates to record and photograph any signs of wildlife.  Anyone can take part regardless of ability – the extensive community of iNaturalist users helps others to identify unknown species. The app also geotags photographs automatically. Plants, animals, fungi, seaweeds, droppings and tracks etc. are all acceptable sightings but captive animals and garden plants are not.

The North East England City Nature Challenge will accept sightings recorded anywhere in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Tees Valley.  Sightings of marine species are eligible so if you are out and about on the coast please remember to record anything you see in the intertidal zone (from rock pools or saltmarsh for example) or in the offshore waters. If you wildlife spotting at the coast then please remember to take suitable beach safety precautions such as those recommended by the Northumberland Coast AONB.  These include:

  • Letting someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
  • Taking care when walking on rocky shores as they can be very slippery
  • Checking the tide times before you set off and being careful about not being cut off by an incoming tide
  • Reading any beach safety signage provided and following any advice from lifeguards

Further details of the event can be found at

Visualising the Undersea World

April 9th, 2019

(Photo Credit: Paula Lightfoot)

One of the difficulties that conservationists often face when trying to explain the marine world is that, for the majority of people, the places we are trying to protect cannot be experienced directly and remain hidden from view below the surface of the sea. Documentaries such as Blue Planet can be an important way of building understanding by allowing the public to see and appreciate an undersea world which might otherwise be inaccessible to them. Closer to home a number of organisations have made video footage of our local marine environment available online, which can be a valuable tool in helping to demonstrate the features which we are aiming to conserve.

Natural England has produced a series of videos showing the underwater landscapes of the English coast, including this sequence covering the area from Lindisfarne to Spurn Point.

Also available from Natural England are two short films which look (from a national level) at the life found in mud and sand, and on rocky reefs – habitats that are all of high importance to us on the North East coast.

Scottish Natural Heritage also have some great online resources, such as a series of virtual dives, and this footage of diving guillemots at Petticowick near St Abbs


For links to more videos please see the ‘Marine Visualisation Resources’ section on our Links page




CoastXplore App

January 29th, 2019

The Capturing Our Coast project have launched their new CoastXplore app. The app can be installed on mobile phones and other Android or iOS devices. It collects information on how we use our coastlines. We know types of activities that occur on our coast, such as sea angling and surfing, but we don’t have much information on the number of people doing each activity. The information submitted via the app will be added to a national database which will be used by organisations who look after our coast to inform decisions they make about our coastline’s management.

The app can be downloaded at