There are loads of great resources available online. Rather than recreate material, here are some links to a select few which we think are amongst the best, and most relevant to the marine wildlife of Pembrokeshire. Of course, the best way to learn is to get out there yourself; go rock-pooling and snorkelling and enjoy! Links are included to help you with those too if you need.
Pembrokeshire’s Plastics Problem – This is presented by Kate Lock for the Marine Conservation Society Pembrokeshire Local Group and was created by Robert Gibbs. The short video is aimed primarily at school children (a mini “Message in the Waves” with a local flavour) but highlights to all ages the problems that plastics can cause in the marine environment and how they can break down into smaller and smaller pieces and end up in the food chain. A link to the video on You Tube is here.
Marine Awareness Raising Roadshows – In 2012/13 a sustainable development grant was received from Welsh Government (administered by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority) which allowed roadshows to visit 25 primary schools in Pembrokeshire. The roadshows literally take local marine wildlife into the classroom, recreating rockpools and allowing children to touch and learn about local marine life. Roadshows are delivered by Silent World To You on behalf of the Pembrokeshire Marine SAC Relevant Authorities Group, and due to their success and a further partnership with The Darwin Experience 20 more roadshows are being offered free of charge to schools in 2014. The 2013 roadshows were targeted at Foundation Phase (3-7 years), those in 2014 are being offered to 3-11 year olds. A full education pack is available from the SAC Officer. Examples from the pack include the plan a beach trip and beach detective.
The Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN) is an initiative of the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA). MarLIN is the place to go in the UK to find out about UK marine life. You can also learn how to record data on marine life, and report your own marine sightings. MarLIN has a great learning zone for all ages. The kid’s activity zone is wonderful. Here you will also find downloadable teacher's resources for primary, secondary and 16+ studies.
Inspiring Seas is a website linked to Newcastle University which is packed with marine-themed teaching resources to supplement enquiry-based and cross-curricular teaching and learning at Key Stage 3.
The Darwin Centre works with schools in Pembrokeshire through its PEASAT Project where every school is given the opportunity for their year 6 pupils to attend science based field events with a follow up workshop. The Project offers a great opportunity to get out of the classroom and learn about the marine environment (amongst other things).
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Discovery Team works with school and community groups across Pembrokeshire and beyond. They offer a wide range of practical field and indoor based sessions suited to all stages of formal education, as well as tailored informal learning opportunities to those who face barriers to engaging in the outdoors. For general information about the National Park and to find out how to get in touch visit the Learning About section of their website.
The Field Studies Centre at Dale Fort offers a variety of marine biology and ecology learning opportunities; residential courses, family holidays, outdoor learning for schools and specialist courses. They’ll even take you snorkelling! Book a course to expand your knowledge, or browse their excellent information website the seashore where you’ll find details on zonation and species classification and more.
Pembrokeshire Fish Week, an event held at the end of June/beginning of July each year, is an excellent platform to find out – and experience – what the sea has to offer locally. Get involved during the next one, and you may find yourself snorkelling, crabbing, making sandcastles…and also maybe fishing!
The Marine Conservation Society is the UK charity that cares for our seas. You can support UK marine conservation by becoming a member. You can also learn more about, and report your own sightings of basking sharks, jellyfish and turtles. Visit their Cool Seas website for loads of curriculum-linked material. The games are great!
SeaSearch is run by the Marine Conservation Society, and is an opportunity for divers to learn more about marine life and get involved in a national project to record what can be found where.
Sea Trust is a section of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. Take a look at the wonderful ‘Dolphin Coast’ video.
SAHFOS is about plankton and so much more. Its education pages are a must – a really fantastic resource for all ages. They also have an excellent taxonomy section to help with plankton identification.
National Museum of Wales explore the seafloor of the Outer Bristol Channel. The Explore the Sea Floor project and its resources are designed to support teachers in delivering a wide range of curriculum requirements. Get yourself a copy of the free cd-rom!
The Shark Trust run the Great Egg Case Hunt – easy to do and fun (and not just at Easter).
The Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland is a fantastic photographic guide covering a selection of the larger animals which live round the coasts of Britain and Ireland. It is intended for divers and marine biologists who need to be able to recognise species in situ. Not an exhaustive list, but very useful.