We do love to be beside the seaside, and Ulster Wildlife is encouraging local people to do more than dip a toe in the water this summer and discover what lies beneath the waves during National Marine Week (July 23 to August 7).
National Marine Week offers endless opportunities for those who want to make the most of the coast and come up close and personal with our magnificent marine life.
Whether it’s exploring rockpool life in Portrush, snorkelling through dazzling seagrass in Red Bay or coasteering along the Causeway Coast, there’s something for all the family to plunge into.
All around the coast of Northern Ireland, Ulster Wildlife’s Living Seas team will be sharing their knowledge to help everyone find out more about the wonderfully varied wildlife found in our seas, from marine snails to minke whales, beadlet anemones to basking sharks, and starfish to seals.
Dave Wall, Living Seas Officer with Ulster Wildlife, said: “From miniature underwater reefs that are exposed at low tide, to unique seagrass meadows found in sheltered bays there’s a dazzling variety of habitats to discover, supporting thousands of weird and wonderful creatures.
“So grab your nets and flippers and join us this National Marine Week to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the sea and learn more about its riches.”
A shoal of events are taking place along the North Coast during National Marine Week including:
Tuesday, July 26, 11am to 2pm: Snorkel Safari at Portrush Coastal Zone - Join Ulster Wildlife’s team of BSAC trained Snorkel Instructors to look beneath the waves to see some of Portrush’s resident sea creatures. Costs £5 per child. Booking essential.
Wednesday, July 27, 10am to 2pm: Rockpool Ramble at Ballintoy Harbour - Join Ulster Wildlife’s Living Seas Team and Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust to explore the weird and wonderful creatures living in rockpools. Free event.
Thursday, July 28, 11am to 2pm: Snorkel Safari at Red Bay - Join Ulster Wildlife’s team of BSAC trained Snorkel Instructors to explore Red Bay’s unique seagrass beds and the sea creatures that live there. Costs £5 per child. Booking essential
Saturday, July 30, 12pm to 8pm: Red Sails Festival, Portstewart - Visit Ulster Wildlife’s Living Seas Exploration stand with Marine life Pool, Ocean Treasures, life size models of our Ocean Giants, and children’s Amazing Oceans Arts and Crafts. Free event.
Monday, August 1, 1.30pm to 3.30pm: Coasteering on the Causeway Coast - Join Causeway Coasteering, Ulster Wildlife and Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust for an adventurous afternoon of coasteering along the Causeway Coast. Costs £15 per person. Booking essential.
Thursday, August 4, 10.30am to 4.30pm: Intertidal Survey Training Course - Join Ulster Wildlife and CEDaR for a course which will introduce you to the background and survey techniques for the Shore Thing citizen science project. A lecture will be followed by a field survey at Ramore Head in Portrush. Costs £25. Booking essential.
To find out more about Ulster Wildlife’s National Marine Week events or to lend your support to local wildlife and wild places, visit www.ulsterwildlife.org