Project Seagrass

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Restoration Forth aims to restore seagrass meadows and native oysters into the Firth of Forth, to create a healthier coastline for people and nature.  

Find out more about the project here. 

Orkney seagrass trip
Next month the seagrass team will be departing for their annual seed collection trip in Orkney. Following a productive planting season in March 2024, the team will be returning to Kirkwall to collect Zostera marina seeds that will be planted in March 2025. Restoration Forth employs a non-destructive method for collecting seagrass seeds, shoots are hand-picked by snorkellers and divers through a selective process to ensure donor meadows are not over picked.  

This year, Project Seagrass are working with Heriot-Watt University and local scallop divers to collect seeds from subtidal seagrass meadows. Prior to seed harvesting, the team conduct extensive surveys of the donor meadows to ensure that the harvesting of seeds will not cause a significant effect to the health or size of the meadows. The deployment of a dive team will increase the yield of seeds collected this year, by accessing subtidal parts of the meadow which are not usually accessible through snorkelling.   

Join us for snorkelling sessions at Finstown!
Restoration Forth are organising seagrass snorkel sessions this July and August to showcase the rich diversity of marine life that live in these amazing habitats and to demonstrate how we collect seagrass seeds. Further details can be found here. 

A seagrass meadow

Photo credit: Raymond Besant 

Photo credit: Raymond Besant

Oyster Citizen Science 
We are very excited to announce that the new oyster citizen science activity booklet is now live! Our new booklet contains activities for everyone around the Firth of Forth to get involved in contributing to oyster restoration. You can find the activities and all the information on how to take part on the webpage here under ‘Help Restore the Firth of Forth’.  

The Restoration Forth team, with the help of volunteers, will be beach hopping around East Lothian, Edinburgh and Fife with the activity booklet next week. Please do pop by and say hello! We will be at Port Seton Links and Fisherrow Sands, Musselburgh, on Friday 28th June and Cramond Beach and Silver Sands, Aberdour, on Saturday 29th. Timings and more information about the events can be found here

Oyster Observer Guide Update 
Thank you so much to those of you who have completed and submitted an Oyster Observer Guide survey. This information will help inform which sites will be most suitable for oyster restoration work. We so far have surveys from the following locations:  

  • Fife: Kingsbarns, Ravenscraig 
  • Edinburgh: Cramond 
  • East Lothian: Seton Beach, Yellowcraig, Morrisons Haven, Belhaven Bay, Longniddry (Bents 1, 2 and 3) Fisherrow Sands and Musselburgh beach.  

If you have completed a survey but are still to submit your results, you can do so
here. Likewise, if you would like to get involved, the Oyster Observer Guide and instructions on how to take part can be found here.  

Photo credit: Caitlin Godfrey 

Climate Resilience survey 
WWF want to learn more about the climate resilience impacts of their projects.  They are running this very short survey to find out more about the impact Restoration Forth has had on you, and your thoughts about local community and climate resilience. It should only take about 5 minutes to complete, and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Scotland Loves Local gift card.   Click here to start the survey  (closes on the 8th July 2024). 

Goodbye 100 species 
The inspiring 100 Species exhibition project is now finished, after having been displayed at Heart of Newhaven to the Scottish Seabird Centre and, finally, the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther.  Edinburgh Shoreline held a little thank-you party in the Anstruther Museum for all the Fife contributors on 7th June.  During this the winning paintings from a local schools art competition, organised by the Museum and inspired by the 100 species exhibition, were displayed. A total of 480 children participated and, through their engagement, learned all about Restoration Forth, oysters and seagrass.  The Newhaven Community Choir performed, included one song specially written as a homage to Restoration Forth. Look out for videos on the Edinburgh Shoreline YouTube channel – uploading soon.  

In Anstruther there were 2,070 visitors to the exhibition at the Museum.  We are really pleased about the interest this project has raised – through the researching and making of responses to individual species and the huge interest generated through exhibiting them around the Forth. Several of our contributors have already engaged with or signed up for future oyster cleaning events, started regular beach events and expressed interest in future citizen science opportunities.  

Photo credit Karen Chambers.