Climate change

November 2nd, 2016

A warming world

We Brits are obsessed about the weather, but at the end of the driest October in 65 years, has it actually started to change? At this month’s meeting (Wednesday 9th November, 19:30) Jo Kaye will take a look at how global warming is likely to effect life in and around the Bay. This is the first of our winter series of lectures at the Gregson Community Centre in Lancaster (LA1 3PY for those of you with satellite navigation!), so please come along and support us if you can!

Admission is £2, and everyone is welcome (subject to the room capacity, as dictated by fire regulations). Full details in our poster linked below:

Climate change (PDF 391kB)

British Divers Marine Life Rescue

September 9th, 2016

seals on rocks by Gordon Fletcher

19:30 Wednesday 14th September This month’s talk is by Eric Thresher, about the work of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR). The BDMLR is a volunteer organisation dedicated to the rescue and well-being of all marine animals in distress around the UK. (Please note, Eric is an active volunteer for BDMLR, and we may have to substitute a talk if he is called out on a rescue).
The talk will be in the lecture room at Capernwray Dive Centre. £2.00 Admission: Everybody Welcome.

Poster with further information (PDF 111kB) – please help publicise this event if you can

Greenland – vulnerable Icecap and Icebergs

August 3rd, 2016

Photo of Greenland icebergs by Gordon Fletcher

An illustrated talk by Gordon Fletcher.
On Wed 10th August at 19:30 in the lecture room, Capernwray Dive Centre
£2.00 Admission: Everybody Welcome.

Wyre Estuary Country Park

August 1st, 2016

Jane and Kathy at the Wyre Estuary show July 2016.

Thank you to Jane and Kathy (above), who represented the MCS at the Wyre Estuary country park show on the 31st July 2016, where the mobile beach and  quiz were great attractions. £50 was raised, £31 from pin badge sales (going to national MCS) and £20 from sales towards to local group.

Morecambe Bay Kite Festival

July 18th, 2016

MCS stand at the Morecambe Kite Festival 2016
Good weather encouraged a lot of people out onto the Morecambe prom to enjoy this year’s festival, with kites and music to stun or serenade! We spoke to about 150 people over the two days at our booth by the Platform, with quizes and ID practice for young and old at our dedicated mini-beach.

Childrens marine life quiz, morecambe kite festival 2016.
Exhibits included egg cases (‘mermaid’s purses’) from common members of the shark family to be found in Morecambe Bay. The star being the egg case of a ‘common skate’ – sadly now approaching extinction (there are fewer skate left than giant pandas). A reminder that while the Bay is no longer an open sewer, only though continuing efforts to conserve, protect and preserve our marine heritage will our children see evidence of these sea giants that our grandparents considered commonplace…

A big thank-you to everyone who dropped by, and all those who helped out with activities and on the stall!
Morecambe Bay Kite Festival, 16-17 July 2016

World Ocean Day at Freeport Fleetwood

June 24th, 2016

Thanks to everybody who made the recent World Oceans day at Freeport Fleetwood such a success. Trawls in Fleetwood harbour resulted in us finding and identifying nearly 50 species, many of which were available for visitors to Freeport to see, and touch – before being returned safe and unharmed on the Saturday evening! Stars of the event included a European eel, a lobster, a greater pipefish and several species of flatfish.

More from this event on That’s Lancashire TV (via YouTube):

Congratulations Betty!

May 31st, 2016

We are very pleased to report that Betty Green, a long time supporter of the group, has been awarded the The Wildlife Trusts’ Marsh Volunteer Award in recognition of her outstanding and demonstrable contributions to marine conservation. I cannot think of a person more deserving of this award!
Further details: Volunteer marine conservationist wins prestigious award

Beach clean April 2016

April 22nd, 2016

Photo of beach clean volunteers at Half Moon Bay, April 2016

A big thank you to everyone who came along to help on Wednesday evening’s beach clean at Half Moon Bay, Heysham. Where we were treated to the best weather of the year so far – warm, blue skies (photo above, lit by the setting sun). It was also pleasant to find a relatively clean beach, which allowed us to cover a larger area than usual. Statistics will be reported to National MCS, who can use them to campaign to reduce the litter at source.

Our next beach clean is on Wednesday, 8 June at 18:30. Meet in the Half Moon Bay car park at 18:30. Suitable clothing and footwear, please bring tough gardening or similar gloves to protect your hands whilst collecting litter. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Followed by a walk to Heysham and drinks/food at the Royal (weather permitting, LW 21:00).

Other events: We have a guided walk around Throbshaw Point, Heysham with Arnside Natural History Society on Saturday 7th May between 14:00 and 17:00. Places are limited on this walk, please confirm attendance in advance. Suggested donation of £2 per person to MCS Lancashire area group.

Beach clean at Rossall Point

March 17th, 2016

UPDATED: Beach clean organised by BBC Radio Lancashire with live music guests, at Rossall Point on Friday 1st April between 10:00 and 11:00.

Rossall point tower is easily accessible from the Rossall point pick nick car park (free). On Friday the 1st the litter pick will be taking place in front of the Tower and in both directions towards Rossall point and Fleetwood. The beach has a slight gradient to it and is predominantly shingle and sand (not too hard to walk on) with a number of groins on it.
High tide that day is at 18:24.

All the equipment needed – pickers, bags, hoops and gloves will be provided by the organisers, plus and coffee or tea of course! Times still a little uncertain, but Radio Lancashire will be broadcasting from 0930, and the litter pick will start a little after 10.

There will be a number of groups helping pick litter, love my beach, Wyre waters partnership and any volunteers that can make it!

Sponging a living

March 4th, 2016

Micrograph of the bryozoan Flustra

The Bay is home to a vast army of locals, who have survived and adapted to a landscape that appears at first glance to be empty… At our talks on the 10th February we investigated the most overlooked creatures of the Bay. The couch-potatoes. These are animals that, having found a place suitable to put down roots, have stopped there for the rest of their lives. They rely on the tides of the Bay to bring food to their waiting mouths.

The ecosystem of the Bay is driven by phytoplankton blooms, which are at their most extensive in Spring and Autumn. For the rest of the year plant life is comparatively scarce. In this environment our ‘couch potatoes’ play a vital role; every bacterium, every gram of poop, anything that can be recycled is brought back into the food chain. Despite their sedentary nature, these filter feeders are an essential part of life in the Bay.

This intensive re-use of all things organic has, unfortunately, an unexpected side effect. Organic toxins, such as PCBs (banned in the seventies) are held within the marine food web, and are responsible even today for the deaths of top marine predators, such as dolphins and killer whales (See for example: BBC report by Rebecca Morelle).

This sobering fact leads us some way towards our last talk of the Winter series in the Gregson – ‘Human Impact on the Bay’ on Wednesday 9th March. At this meeting we will look at a couple of the ways we impact the life of the Bay, through Fisheries and litter.

More information: Human impact on the bay PDF 77kB