Free Shoreham events celebrate ten years as nature reserve

Shingle plants at Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve
Shingle plants at Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve
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Two free events are planned to celebrate Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve’s tenth anniversary.

On Saturday, Friends of Shoreham Beach is running a special event, Why is Shoreham Beach So Special?, focusing on the past, present and future of the beach.

A shrimp seen through the microscope cam

A shrimp seen through the microscope cam

The event starts with an illustrated talk and activities run by marine educator Stephen Savage at 10.30am in the Church of the Good Shepherd Hall, in Kings Walk.

Stephen spent much of his childhood on Shoreham Beach and currently runs the education programme for the reserve.

He said: “Shoreham beach is an amazing place, from its rare vegetated shingle habitat and wildlife to its fascinating geography and maritime history.”

Stephen is keen to share his knowledge about the beach wildlife and plants to help people enjoy this amazing beach throughout the year.

He said: “We will also look at seabirds and objects washed up by the tide – even the pebbles have a fascinating story to tell.”

Stephen been working closely with organisations around the world, such as National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in America, looking at how Shoreham Beach is connected to the global ocean.

Stephen said: “We are all connected to the ocean which provides 50 per cent of our oxygen, freshwater and moderates our climate and weather.

“With the help of our character Ed the Bear, who will be present at the event, we have made connections with scientists and schools around the world to learn how climate change and marine debris may impact Shoreham Beach in the future.”

There will be further activities on the beach after the indoor session.

Stephen will also be running an event on Thursday, August 25, from 10am to midday, called Rock Pooling with a Microscope.

This event will take place at the Nissen Hut at Shoreham Fort and the nearby beach.

“People visiting the event will be encouraged to collect a small rock pool animal from the beach and bring it up to the Nissen Hut, where we will project it on to a screen using a USB microscope cam,” explained Stephen.

This technology is part of the nature reserve’s education programme but is not usually available to the public.

Stephen said: “This amazing technology gives some remarkable close-up views of live rock pool creatures such as tiny barnacles, crabs, prawns and sea anemones.

“We will also be sharing some fascinating facts and information about the animals that people find. Discover how barnacles catch food, why crabs walk side ways and what makes a prawn different from a shrimp. Come along and do some rock pooling or just come and enjoy the views through the microscope cam.”

Both events are funded by Heritage Lottery Grant – Awards for All and are ideal for families but all are welcome.

Friends of Shoreham Beach asks people to meet at the Nissen Hut before collecting any creatures from the beach.

Visit www.fosbeach.com for more information about these and other Friends of Shoreham Beach events.

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