Hi, my name is Rosie. I have been a local volunteer at Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre for about a year now, and love it. I have always been interested in wildlife, especially marine, having done a lot of scuba diving in the past and I also feel strongly about conservation and ecology.
The tasks of a Living Seas volunteer are many and varied, and the hours are completely flexible. I was initially attracted to taking part in land surveys to monitor dolphins porpoise and seals. Surveys happen almost all year round, weather permitting! We record dolphin numbers, their location in New Quay bay and their behaviours. We also monitor how they respond to the sometimes large volume of boat traffic in the area and how the boat traffic behaves around the animals. I never tire of watching these incredible animals foraging, playing, leaping and tossing fish and jellyfish into the air. It was really special to see a very young calf closely protected by mum and the pod.
I have also helped to run several stalls set up to engage with the public at events in the local area. I enjoy chatting with children and adults about the local sea life, looking at skulls and other artefacts and using fun activities such as the limpet stacking challenge and VR headsets to help foster an interest in the marine environment. It’s always lovely to see how interested people are in the natural world. We have also gone into schools to engage with the children in a similar way.
During my time as a volunteer we have carried out several beach cleans. On each occasion, I have been bowled away by how many members of the public get involved regardless of the weather and how strongly they feel about the marine and coastal environment. Oh and talking of environment, we were also involved in a local climate change demonstration, with a view to promoting how the Wildlife Trust makes an active contribution to ecology and habitat conservation.
At the moment during COVID-19 lockdown all of our face to face activities involving the public as well as the land surveys are on hold. We are trying to encourage people to record their marine memories linked to the Welsh marine environment for the Living Seas Wales Project. We’re also creating educational content for social media and some of us are continuing to do litter picks, during our daily walks around the countryside and beaches near our homes.
I am very much looking forward to returning to a more active involvement with the CBMWC, hopefully it won’t be too long. I’m most excited about getting back to the harbour wall and seeing those dolphins again!