Image © Scottish Wildlife Trust
A new self-guided snorkel trail for South Fife has been launched to introduce snorkellers to the wonderful marine life of southeast Scotland.
The trail located in the coastal zone between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy has been launched by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in partnership with The Ecology Centre.
Featuring five amazing coastal sites, the snorkel trail leaflet is designed to give people the confidence to enjoy their own underwater safari.
Seagrass citizen science
The South Fife snorkel trail aims to encourage people to get involved in the community-led restoration work of The Ecology Centre, which is part of the Restoration Forth project coordinated by the conservation organisation WWF. The Restoration Forth project is working to re-establish the Forth’s native oyster reefs and seagrass meadows.
Seagrasses are flowering plants that live in shallow sheltered areas along the coast. These sensitive plants have roots and leaves producing flowers, seeds and fruit and can store large amounts of carbon. They form natural sea defences trapping sediment and slowing down current and waves that cause coastal erosion. Baby fish like cod, plaice and pollock along with sea horses and crabs prefer seagrass meadows compared to bare sand. This makes them interesting places to snorkel.
A guided snorkel trail session
Trails to boost snorkel participation
The Ecology Centre is enthusiastic about showcasing Fife’s best coastal spots for snorkelling. A spokesperson said: “This has been a great opportunity to work in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust to provide safe snorkelling areas for the public to investigate the local shorelines of Fife. Through this participation we will see an increasing awareness of these delicate natural habitats.”
Elouise Cartner, Living Seas Policy and Engagement Officer with the Scottish Wildlife Trust enjoyed meeting people at a launch event to help them know more about snorkelling in Scotland. She said:
The Scottish Wildlife Trust wants to map the best snorkelling locations across Scotland to encourage more people to have first-hand experience of the amazing marine life found in our shallow coastal waters. We want more people to care for our marine environment after having a fully immersive underwater adventure. Snorkelling is a memorable way to see fascinating, colourful and unique creatures.
Elouise Cartner, Living Seas Policy and Engagement Officer with the Scottish Wildlife Trust completes a snorkel session
The Scottish Wildlife Trust have 10 snorkel trails with over 60 sites listed on their website. The South Fife snorkel trail is the first one featuring sites in Fife. A Moray Firth trail was launched earlier this summer.
Mary Tetley, BSAC CEO said:
Seagrass is an amazing underwater habitat which not only produces oxygen that we breathe but protects coastlines, absorbs carbon and provides a home to many ocean species. It’s fantastic to see new snorkel trails like this one opening up to make our marine habitats more accessible to BSAC snorkellers, and hopefully it will encourage as many members as possible to get on, in and by the sea for the Great Seagrass Survey!