WREN - Wester Ross Environment Network

Seagrass Survey this Sunday

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On Sunday I’m planning to explore the sea grass beds at the far end of Inverianvie beach by Gruinard Bay. 

·         What we’ll see

At this time of year the beds should be at their strongest after a summer of good growth so I’m curious to see what they look like and what animals can be found in the seagrass at this time of year. Also there may be undocumented beds to the north of the ones known about (see attached) and there may be some time to investigate . . . . (should be a bit warmer and more to see than in January . . . ).

In April 2014 I found an interesting mix of animals including a small cuttlefish, however the beds had a coat of filamentous algae (like cotton wool) then, I wasn’t sure how healthy they were.

There are other interesting underwater wildlife habitats nearby including fringing kelp forest around the headland.

·         Where to meet

Here’s the ad which you may have seen in the Gairloch and District Times:

Sunday 30th August: Inverianvie shore walk and snorkel expedition. Meet at the Flowerdale car park opposite the Old Inn at 10am or phone to make alternative arrangements. There is a low tide (0.6m) just after 2pm. If the weather and sea conditions are suitable, we’ll be able to explore the seagrass beds and kelp forest. Warm wetsuit or drysuit required for snorkelling; or a bucket and gloves for those who prefer to stay dry!

If anyone wants to meet up at the beach we’ll be at the car park at Inverianvie (the main car park for the big sandy beach) at about 11am. It’s a bit of a walk across the sands to where the sea grass is.  The tide will be low enough to have a good look at the sea grass from about 1pm to 3pm.

For those who would just like an afternoon dip at low tide to see the sea grass, I suggest head for the shore at 1:15pm in the afternoon and come and look for us (let me know to look out for you). Some of the sea grass will be in only about 1.2m of water when the tide is fully out.

·         What else to bring

For comfortable snorkelling to explore marine wildlife, note the need for a warm all-over winter wetsuit or dry suit. I had a swim last week with an old wet suit and the sea definitely feels colder this year than last year.

I’ll bring along some Seasearch recording forms see seasearch website http://www.seasearch.org.uk/recording.htm
and have a go at doing a proper survey (some of us were told that this is the best way to record at a SWT Living Seas seabed survey meeting on Tuesday night)! I’ll also bring along a GoPro Hero3 to video record what we see.

Some food to share  . . .  ( . . . if there are mackerel about . . . what are the rules about bbq ing fresh mackerel on the beach? I might also bring a fishing rod and have a cast for a sea bass . . . ).

·         Weather forecast

The weather makes a big difference. At present the forecast for Sunday is for light cloud, and light southwesterly winds, so it should be sheltered. That’s good! However bring a midge hood just in case . . .

Let me know if you think you might come along?

01445 712 899 (wk) 01445 771 206 (hm) 07786 836 003 (mb)

WREN would like to thank the following organisations for their support:
Scottish Natural Heritage
The European Agriculture fund for Rural Development. Europe investing in rural areas
The Highland Council
The Scottish Government

Tom Forrest (Chairman) chair@wr-en.co.uk

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