Julie Hatcher, Marine Awareness Officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust (details below) has contacted us with a request for help after watching the youtube film of EDOWSC’s 2014 seahorse swim at Studland.
“Your support in fundraising and raising awareness of the seahorses at Studland over the last few years is very much appreciated by those of us campaigning to win protection for the wildlife of the Bay.
“Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has been working to get Studland Bay designated as a Marine Conservation Zone since the beginning. In fact it was my husband and myself who first notified the Seahorse Trust that there were seahorses in the Bay and invited Neil Garrick-Maidment to get involved.
“DWT is part of a national network of Wildlife Trusts and together we have a strong voice for wildlife and work closely with the government bodies on conservation issues. We have gathered robust evidence to support the creation of a Marine Conservation Zone (a type of marine reserve) at Studland and believe that a satisfactory balance can be reached for both wildlife and the people who visit it.
“Read more about our vision for Studland Bay.
“However the Government is hesitating and needs to see strong local support for the designation before it will agree to it.
“In January 2015 there will be a public consultation giving everyone a chance to voice their support or concerns about designation. This is where your club and its members come in. DWT is encouraging everyone who uses and loves Studland Bay to send in a personal and positive response to the consultation in the form of a letter. I will be giving talks and running workshops to help people do this and I wondered if there is an opportunity to speak to your club about this? The consultation will likely run from end of January until the middle of March so there is ample time, maybe in February or early March to arrange a talk / workshop.
“I believe that letters from people who use the Bay, such as yourselves, will have a greater impact on the government’s decision and am sure that your members, who are willing to put themselves out for this good cause each year, will want to help.”
EDOWSC Committee will publish further information in the New Year.
Marine Awareness Officer
Dorset Wildlife Trust
Fine Foundation Marine Centre
Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve