Thursday July 14 will mark the start of a two-month festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country’s first marine protected area in Lundy.
There are many events planned that everyone can participate in. During the festival there will be activities such as Marine Bioblitz (recording all the marine species found on the shore and in the tide), coastal walks, themed and interactive games, Rockpool wanders and for the truly intrepid snorkelling safari. There will also be citizen science projects, such as using the iNaturalist app on your mobile phone to record photos of marine species you encounter so experts can identify them; or, if you’re divers, checking the health of pink sea fans, a nationally protected species.
The Darwin Tree of Life Project, overseen by staff from the Natural History Museum and the Marine Biological Association, will be on the island for the first few days of the festival, with the island’s church doubling as a ‘pop-up’. Naval Laboratory.
Thanks to sponsorship from the Blue Marine Foundation, we are also making a short film about the effectiveness of the MPA’s no-fly zone off the island’s east coast, which is of particular importance given the recent government announcement of five trial Highly Protected Marine Areas elsewhere nearby. english coast
Within the MPA lie three shipwrecks of historical significance, two of which (the Iona II, a paddle steamer that sank in 1864; and the battleship HMS Montagu, which ran aground on the island in 1906) will be showcased at special Protected Wreck Days. by the Nautical Archeology Society and funded by Historic England.
The recent photogrammetric survey of the Iona II will allow the wreck to be viewed in 3D using virtual reality headsets.
Lundy Marine Protected Area was a world leader in marine conservation in the UK.
It was the first statutory marine nature reserve in the country (1986), the first to have a zoning plan (1993), the first to have a no-take zone (2003) and the first to become a marine conservation zone (2010).
Through solid science and effective conservation work, it has led the way in the protection and management of the UK’s marine environment.
We look forward to welcoming you to the island to learn more about its marine life, its wrecks and the management of its protected waters.
Full details of what is planned are on the festival website: www.lundymarinefestival.org.uk.