Coastal Creatures Project success!
The Coastal Creatures project provided citizen science opportunities to identify, record, enjoy and learn about the varied flora and fauna of North Devon’s diverse intertidal and coastal habitats. In order to better understand the coast, the project was focused on four beaches within the AONB; Northam Burrows (Westward Ho! and Greysands), Croyde, Lee Bay and Combe Martin. The key project partners were Northam Burrows Country Park, the National Trust, Coastwise North Devon and Combe Martin Primary School.
A key part of the project was to engage with school children, community groups, volunteers and partner organisations. This was done with organised activities such as identification learning workshops, stands at events, talks and conferences, rocky shore surveys (including four BioBlitz events), training events and beach cleans. Overall the project was involved in 215 activities with over 10,000 people taking part making the project a huge success.
In addition, interpretational materials were produced including a Wildlife Spotter Guide, which highlights the most common coastal species found along the coast, and wildlife trail leaflets for Ilfracombe, Woolacombe and Northam Burrows Country Park. These leaflets can be downloaded from (www.northdevon-aonb.org.uk/coastal-creatures or picked up from tourist information centres and museums throughout North Devon).
Cat Oliver, AONB Interpretation and Education Officer said
”I came to North Devon to run the Coastal Creatures project and was amazed at the enthusiasm already surrounding our coastal environments. Therefore Coastal Creatures was a pleasure to run as there was a thirst to learn more from the school, college and community groups that I worked with. Together we surveyed intertidal species, learnt together and helped enhance our beaches during beach cleans, protecting wildlife by doing so. We hope that Coastal Creatures has given confidence for people, organisations and groups to explore our beaches further with the protection of wildlife in mind.”