Our Education Officer, Loveday Trinnick, visited Goosewell Primary Academy in Devon to help children learn more about seagrass habitats and their importance in our marine ecosystem.
Spreading the word about the importance of seabed habitats is a vital part of the ReMEDIES project. We work with many groups and stakeholders such as water users, boat owners, fishermen and the general public to help them understand more about seagrass development and restoration.
The ReMEDIES school programme aims to engage students in our seagrass work by discussing our various projects; seabed habitats; the engineering behind Advanced Mooring Systems, and communication.
Our work with Goosewell Primary Academy involved Year 1 students getting stuck into plant biology. Over the course of a month, they grew their own seagrass plants in the classroom. This ambitious project started with the children learning about seagrass and other seabed habitats, they then moved on to think about what plants needed to grow. Finally, they planted their special seagrass seeds! This planting was carried out carefully by the children and the seagrass growing pots were placed in seawater tanks. Alongside the seagrass, the students also planted cress, poppies and other land plants.
Left with their freshly planted seagrass seeds, cress and poppies, the children took control of the care and maintenance of them. This meant weekly water changes, cleaning and even a little bit of singing! After a few weeks, the children started to see the beginnings of a plant. This continued to grow, until they had a little seagrass seedling.
This achievement is remarkable as it is thought to be the first-time children have ever grown a seagrass plant in a classroom.
These seeds used in this work with schools are collected as part of the ReMEDIES seagrass restoration project, led by the Ocean Conservation Trust. While most seeds end up on the seabed in our specially selected restoration sites, others will be used to inspire school children like those in year 1 of Goosewell Primary Academy.