Bob and Bea visited the Marine Conservation Society Head Office in Ross-on-Wye on Monday 20th January 2014. They were met by the Chief Executive Mrs Sam Fanshawe. Bob and Bea were taken on a tour of the offices where they met staff and discussed the vital work being carried out by the Society. They were given presentations by Dr Peter Richardson, Biodiversity Programme Manager; Emma Cunningham, Litter Campaigns Officer; Mike Crossley, Head of Marketing and Communications and Kat Stephenson, Fundraiser.
Dr Richardson explained the rationale and the work behind the 27 Marine Conservation Zones which have been recently created around our shores. Emma Cunningham explained their work in helping to control the plastic and litter which is finding its way into the sea via our rivers and waterways causing great hardship and suffering to marine and animal life. She also highlighted their programme Beach Watch through which thousands of volunteers collect and record litter from UK beaches. Emma drew attention to her recent campaign “Don’t Let Go” which is to discourage the release of balloons and lanterns which end up as litter on our seas and beaches endangering sea life and birds. Kat Stephenson briefly outlined how the Marine Conservation Society has grown in the 30 years since it was started by a number of dedicated marine conservationists and is supported by their Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales. She pointed out the importance of the support of HRH The Prince of Wales and the many supporters giving either time or money to work of the Society.
The staff of 60 operate in frequently difficult circumstances and achieve incredible results due to their dedication and hard work. Bob and Bea were delighted to learn so much about this wonderful organisation and were greatly impressed by what is being done to preserve the Marine Environment in and around the UK.