Acid, alien and hot! Beach
visitors to put seaweeds under the spotlight
BEACH visitors are being asked to turn
scientist this summer to help understand a bit more about the seaside's unsung
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has teamed up with the Natural History
Museum on a project to get people out on our shores to help study seaweeds. With
their 3D structure and multi coloured forms, seaweeds create shelter and food
for an immense diversity of other marine organisms and also support commercial
fisheries. But most people don't give them a second look, and even consider them
a slippery nuisance we could do without!
The Big Seaweed Search, a new citizen science project, will help to map out the
distribution of seaweeds around Britain. Seaweed distribution and abundance
around our coasts is changing. To investigate why this might be and what's out
there, the Big Seaweed Search will try and establish just what is affecting
seaweeds on British coasts.
Miranda Krestovnikoff, TV presenter and diver says:- "This is a great way
to find out more about our beautiful UK seaweeds, and to help researchers track
how they are faring in changing environmental conditions. And anyone can join
in. At last, seaweeds will get the attention they deserve!"
The seashores and shallow seas around Britain support over 650 species of
seaweed, making them globally significant and an important component of British
biodiversity. The study will focus on 14 species, to increase our knowledge of
how sea temperature increase, sea level rise, impacts of non native species and
increasing acidity are affecting the distribution of different species of
seaweed. "It's easy to take them for granted, but seaweeds are fascinating, provide
shelter and food for an immense variety of marine wildlife, and are of enormous
use to humanity. People are unaware that our daily lives are affected by seaweeds in many
ways, from foods and medicines to buffering the effects of rough seas on our
vulnerable coastlines." says Professor Juliet Brodie, of the Natural History Museum.
In the Big Seaweed Search, 8 species of conspicuous wracks (part of the common
names of several species of seaweed) have been selected for the public to
record. Many of these will probably be familiar, such as bladder wrack, Fucus
vesiculosus, with its bladders resembling bubble-wrap that pop underfoot, and
knotted wrack, Ascophyllum nodosum, which produces a single egg like bladder
once a year and can live for an estimated 50 to 60 years.
The study also hopes to unearth more about non-natives and their impact on
British coasts. "One of the most well-known 'aliens' listed in the study
is wireweed, Sargassum muticum, a brown seaweed that was first recorded on the
south coast of England in 1973 and has spread very rapidly since then. Another
conspicuous non native seaweed and a favoured food in Japan, Wakame, Undaria
pinnatifida, was first recorded in Britain in 1994 on pontoons but is now
starting to colonise rocky shores. These 'aliens' are here to stay so we need to
learn to live with them." says Juliet.
Justine Millard, MCS Head of Education and Outreach, says the study will
establish whether any of these seaweeds are changing in their range, or becoming
more or less widespread. "Anyone can be a citizen scientist. We'll provide
simple instructions and an identification guide so that everyone can make a
valuable contribution to our knowledge of this important and underappreciated
To take part, register at:-
Futurist safety work to be
completed next week
WORK is to be completed by Thursday, 9
June 2016, making safe the derelict former Futurist Cinema, on Lime Street, in
Liverpool, paving the way for the re-opening of the road.
It follows the completion of an independent structural report; ordered by a
Court of Appeal judge; after 'SAVE Britain's Heritage' objected to the
proposed method for making the building safe.
Work has already been carried out removing the pediment and making safe the
parapets, and over the coming days more will be done in line with the
recommendations of the buildings expert, who visited the site earlier this week.
A council spokesman said:- "This has taken far longer than we would have
liked and work would have been completed shortly after the road closed had it
not been for the legal action brought by 'SAVE Britain's Heritage.'
We have had to follow the instructions of the Court of Appeal Judge, who ordered
we resolve the disagreement by bringing in a new independent structural engineer
to carry out another inspection and write a fresh report.
This has now been completed and we will now be carrying out the works that the
engineer has recommended. This will be completed by next Thursday, but we can't
open the road before it is declared completely safe. Public safety must be our
utmost concern. Once again, we would like to thank motorists and commuters for
their ongoing patience while the work is completed."
The closure is from Skelhorne Street to Copperas Hill with pedestrian access
maintained on the side of Lime Street opposite the Futurist.
The following diversions will remain in force:-
► For traffic travelling from the south: Berry Street, Leece Street, Rodney
Street, Clarence Street, Russell Street, Seymour Street, London Road and Lime
► For traffic travelling from the north: London Road, Seymour Street, Russell
Street, Clarence Street, Rodney Street and Leece Street.
► Traffic travelling along St Anne Street and Pembroke Place: Seymour Street,
Russell Street, Clarence Street, Rodney Street and Leece Street.
► Traffic travelling up St Johns Lane: Lime Street, Commutation Row, Hunter
Street, St Anne Street, Norton Street, Seymour Street, Russell Street, Clarence
Street, Rodney Street and Leece Street.
► For motorists on Lime Street (between London Road and Georges Place) who have
missed the advanced signage, the alternative route is: right onto St Georges
Place/St Johns Lane, Whitechapel, right onto Victoria Street, Byrom Street,
right onto Hunter Street, right onto Norton Street, Seymour Street, Russell
Street, Clarence Street, Rodney Street and Leece Street.
► There is a secondary diversion route for motorists on Renshaw Street who have
missed the advanced diversion signs on Berry Street: Copperas Hill, Seymour
Street, London Road and Lime Street.
► Access to St John's Shopping Centre car park is unaffected.