Can you help keep the ‘Secrets of the Solent’ alive?

A new initiative has been launched by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to help keep the ‘Secrets of the Solent’ alive.

It’s a project that aims to connect our local community and sea users with the wildlife beneath the waves and help protect our important marine environment.

We know how important the waters around our Island are – crabbing at Seaview, kayaking at Newtown, swimming at Compton, sailing at Gurnard, fisheries at Ventnor helping to put food on the plates of visitors to our shores – the list is nearly endless!

The Trust – who are the leading conservation charity across the two counties – hope to raise £15 000 as just part of the match funding needed to qualify for Heritage Lottery Funding – for each pound raised, it unlocks £9.85 from the fund!

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust are using the web resource Crowdfunder to help achieve this.

In total, the charity has set it’s sights on a grand total of £640 000 to deliver their ‘Secrets of the Solent’ project.

snakelocks anemone by Amy Marsden

Snakelock sea anemone – image courtesy of Amy Marsden

Tim Ferrero, Marine Specialist at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said:

“More and more of us are concerned about the state of our seas, but few know about the incredible wildlife just under the surface. Whether it’s alien-like anemones brightening up our rock pools, seals sunning themselves on our mudflats or dainty seahorses drifting through seagrass meadows, there’s some incredible marine wildlife on our doorstep. Together we can help protect and keep the Solent wild and wonderful for generations to come.”

With the money, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will:

  • create ‘citizen science’ projects, working with local volunteers to collect data about what’s on our shores and in our seas, a very important part of helping the charity push for greater government protections for the Solent.
  • work with the fishing industry, restaurants and consumers to promote local sustainable seafood.
  • build a team of ‘marine champions’ – an army of volunteers who can help protect the Solent and pass on their passion to others.
  • make sure that as many people as possible get to know about the spectacular secrets of the Solent. The hidden treasures will be brought to the surface through street art, photography and film.

Find out more about the appeal – and donate – follow this link http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wildandwonderful

feisty green shore crab

Feature image of the Green Shore crab courtesy of Samuel Chamberlain

Feature image of beach survey at Colwell Bay from Amy Marsden