Monday, 8 June 2015

World Oceans Day at Holkham

World Oceans Day is a celebration of the beauty and importance that the ocean provides in everyone’s life. When people think of the ocean their minds turn too the coral reefs, vast sandy beaches and crystal blue waters of the far away Mediterranean or tropical waters and think the UK coast is a cold grey mass devoid of life. This could not be further from the truth. The seas around the UK have the potential to be among the most productive and wildlife-rich on Earth. From gentle giants like basking sharks to the beautiful colours of sea slugs the seas around Britain are full of fascinating and wonderful surprises.

Holkham Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand and shingle 
spanning  8 miles.

Sometimes these natural treasures are washed up onto our shores. They can be simple shells and sometimes they can be a 1 tonne sunfish, like the ones which came onshore on the Norfolk coast this January.

But the oceans are under threat from the growing wave of plastics that are discarded into the sea each year. Most plastics never really ‘go way’ they simply break down into smaller and smaller pieces.  On average there are is a staggering 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean! Huge whales, cliff nesting Fulmars and even the fish we eat are digesting these fragments of plastics which can cause starvation as they fill up the animal’s stomach or they become entangled causing great discomfort and even death. Luckily we can all do something about this! By picking up litter when you visit the beach you can save wildlife and make the beach a better place for everyone.

A Grey seal at Blakeney Point with a Frisbee tight 
around its neck.

So how can you celebrate this auspicious date? How can you show your appreciation for the ocean?

Well, by beachcombing of course! It’s a great activity for all the family.

From the car park at Lady Anne’s Drive, it’s a short walk down the boardwalk to the beach. Be treated to some stunning views of Holkham Gap and North Sea. The best shells are found along the high tide line where it’s a little shingly.

There are many beautiful things to be found in the tide line. 
Like this lovely pebble!

Remember check the tide table and the weather and remember to wash your hands afterwards.

To identify your finds and find out more about them print out the spotter sheet below!

You can download it: HERE

Happy World Oceans Day!

Jonathan Holt