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rce north east project

Coastal Issues and Fragile Habitats - Protecting Druridge Bay for the Future

Organisation

Dove Marine Laboratory
School of Marine Science and Technology
Newcastle university
Cullercoats
NE30 4PZ

Contact

Dr Jane Delany
j.e.delany @ ncl.ac.uk
Joanne Poelman, Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited
joanne_poelman @ merck.com
Lorna Liberi, King Edward VI School, Morpeth
ll @ kevi.info

Project partners

Dove Marine Laboratory
Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, Cramlington
King Edward VI School, Morpeth

Brief description of project

Working with scientists from the Dove Marine Laboratory, staff from Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the National Trust and students from The King Edward VI School, Morpeth, MSD Cramlington volunteers will participate in a 3-phase project to develop management plans for Druridge Bay in Northumberland.

The management plans will include an area of sand dunes and the adjacent hinterland, including three man-made freshwater and saline ponds which together, make up Druridge Links, a nature reserve administered by the National Trust and the Northumberland Wildlife Trust.

These reserves are of outstanding wildlife interest, but have been influenced by human impacts including farming coal mining and sand-winnowing over many centuries. Today, they are important leisure, tourist and educational resources. It is essential that the wildlife integrity of the dune system is maintained for the benefit of future generations and projects like the development of management plans present an excellent opportunity for local people and especially young people to become involved in the management processes. The objectives of the project therefore are to:

1. Develop close working relationships between students from the King Edward VI School, Morpeth (KEVI), professional scientists from the Dove Marine Laboratory and local wildlife organisations (Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the National Trust) in order to gather information on the study area. This will include both ecological surveys and the collation of existing information on its ecology and history. The information will be presented as a series of fact files.

2. The information surveys will be adapted to cover specific aspects of the National Schools Curriculum, particularly in subject areas such as citizenship and biology/geography.

3. Form a focus group from the school participants. They will use the fact files as a basis for developing their own management plans for the study area.

4. Present the management plans to the environmental managers (Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the National Trust).

5. Seek funds to support one or more recommendations in the management plans that are approved by Northumberland Wildlife Trust or the National Trust.

6. Disseminate the results of the study widely in order to raise general awareness of the value of the study area and the participation and collaboration between different sections in society in conserving it.

Phase one of the project will include information gathering about the Druridge Bay environmental area including its ecology and its social, cultural and industrial history. Phase two of the project will be based solely on a focus group from KEVI who will develop the management plans for the study area. Phase three of the project will be the presentation of the management recommendations to senior representatives from Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the UK's National Trust. This will be a joint enterprise involving MSD staff and staff from Dove Marine Laboratory. At this stage, further funding will be sought to support one or more of the management recommendations e.g. production of signage, a nature trail, video, etc.

Expected Outcomes, Success Criteria

Outcomes from the project include information about Druridge Bay collated as a series of fact files; community based recommendations for Druridge Bay, raised awareness of the value of Druridge Bay to the local community and practical exercises to support the work of KEVI in citizenship and biology/geography.

Method of dissemination and resources to be produced

Paper to be published on the project in educational journal as exemplar strategy for engaging young people in nature, and in inter-generational education whereby school pupils educate and inform adults.
Fact files and interpretative materials to be used at the sites.

Related web sites

Additional information

This project was awarded a North East Process Industry Cluster environmental award for 2007