Recently I visited Mutton Cove at Godrevy to meet with the leaders of the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust- a multi-award winning, marine conservation charity- to hear about their extensive work on seal conservation. The Trust supports a large network of active citizen scientists across South-West communities, who routinely survey seals on their local areas and help conserve local Seal populations. It was great to see them benefit recently from the Government’s Green Challenge Fund that has helped the Trust expand their work and hire more staff to grow the size of their operation.
Nationally, there has been significant work being undertaken on seal conservation. At many different points around the UK coast, there has been a lot of effort going into reducing the disturbance of seals with new information boards for the public. Earlier this year, The Seal Alliance launched a new government-backed campaign to ‘Give Seals Space’ and reduce the shocking impact that human disturbance can have on these vulnerable marine mammals.
The UK is home to 38% of the entire world’s population of grey seals and 30% of the European subspecies of common seals, yet these precious mammals face an extensive list of threats including climate change, toxic pollution, entanglement, collisions with vessels, plastics and other marine debris. Of these threats, disturbance from human interaction is a significant and growing problem.
In order to help protect marine mammals, such as seals, Government has ambitious plans for a ‘Blue Belt’ of marine protected areas around the UK’s seas. Following our exit from the European Union, we have new powers to implement evidenced-based marine management measures that will help ensure our seas are managed sustainably, protecting both the long-term future of the fishing industry and our precious wildlife and habitats.
One of the things that we have valued more during this pandemic is the ability to have access to the natural world and outdoor spaces. With all of the restrictions in place and three lockdowns which have required us to stay at home, the ability to get out and exercise, and form a connection with the natural world has been important. Once this pandemic is over, we will have an opportunity through our new policies to protect our wildlife and leave the environment in a better state for future generations - turning the tide on the decline that we have seen in recent decades.
Vaccination Rollout Update:
It is great to see that nearly 80 million Vaccine doses have been given throughout the UK with nearly 85% of all adults having their first dose and 63% getting the protection of the second dose. If you live around Camborne you can protect yourself against COVID-19 by grabbing a jab from a pop-up vaccination clinic this Saturday, 3rd July. Anyone who’s older than 18 and has not yet been vaccinated can get a dose of Pfizer from the Dolcoath Council office car park, from 10am to 6pm. You don’t need to book an appointment – just turn up, get vaccinated, and get back on with your day. Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic and are ensuring we are on track to end all restrictions, so if you have not had yours’ yet, I encourage you to come forward and get your vaccine.