Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Rampion Windfarm

The Rampion Windfarm off the coast of the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve is now well underway.

The wind farm is between 8 and 16 miles from the shore.

There will be 116 turbines when its finished each standing 142 metres tall. The wind farm will generate enough power for 290,000 homes and replace 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Wind turbines harness the (free) and like early sailors wind farms use the naturally occurring winds that blow across the ocean.

The windfarm will be completed by the end of 2018. Renewable energy sources like this are so important to help reduce man-made climate change and great to see this happening on our own doorstep.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Fishing net on beach

Fishing gear discovered on sandy beach inside the harbour at Shoreham while we were working with a school group.

The net had been rolled as it was washed ashore. I tried to pull it up the beach, but it appeared to be hooked on a rock or something as it was impossible to move.
I inspected the net and could find no marine life entangled, unlike the fishing net we discovered  at the annual rock pool event (last year) I run at Shoreham Beach each year for Friends of Shoreham Beach. A large section of net was found on the beach which contained many crabs and some fish (which had died) The live crabs were cut from the net and released.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

More from the Stem Science Event

More from Big Bang South East Stem Science Event. Sound bites from our global ocean exhibit

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Ed Bear at Big Bang Stem Science Fair

Hi all

We have returned again this year to the Big Bang South East Stem Science Fair in Sussex, UK. It is great to see how stem science is really growing in Sussex – this year there were almost 9000 children and teachers. Wow.

We brought an updated display showing Ed the Bear’s travels to scientists and other organisations around the world to learn about ocean science and human impact on the oceans. However, the display is really a celebration of how amazing the ocean is, providing 50% of the oxygen we breathe, freshwater, 15% of our food, new medicines, renewable energy, wellbeing and much more.

The display stand provides examples of some of the amazing animals and people that Ed the Bear has encountered on his travels with photographs of Ed sitting with penguins on Antarctic ice, diving on coral reefs and ship wrecks, coming face to face with great white sharks and much more.





We also included our demonstration of ocean acidification. The oceans absorb 25% of the carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere. This is now changing the water chemistry of the ocean threatening creatures that build their shells and bodies from calcium. carbonate.

In our demonstration we put a sea shell in vinegar which slowly dissolves during the day. Creatures in the ocean are not dissolving, but they are struggling to access the calcium carbonate to build their shells and we are seeing thinner shells and even deformed shells that can make it easier for a predator to break through to eat the occupant.

We also had a display and activity based around plastic pollution.
An activity using rice (representing food) and lentils (representing plastic) to demonstrate the problems of micro-plastics. We even find plastic in the bodies of plankton. Tiny pieces of plastic can also absorb other pollutants increasing the risk to the oceans wildlife.

Ed the Bear wears a necklace made from a scientists ring band. A scientist placed it on the leg of an albatross chick which sadly died from swallowing plastic. Ed uses the necklace to share his experiences of the plight of these majestic birds.

We also set up a display of live inter-tidal invertebrates from our local beach and using a USB microscope cam displaying them on a screen

Intertidal exhibit video clip 

It was an amazing day with lots on excitement, enthusiasm and interest from the children. Our go home message was that the ocean will be an increasing focus for stem related careers to help us understand our planet or help solve the many threats to our planets continued health.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Plastic is here to Stay Workshops at EYE

Today we took a little bit of Shoreham Beach to Davison CE High Schools for Girls for the E.Y.E summit. E.Y.E Stands for Eco Young and Engaged – The E.Y.E. Project was established in 2008 by Tim Loughton, M.P. for East Worthing and Adur.

The Project aims to raise sustainability awareness and encourage young people’s interest in the environment. It provides an additional opportunity for the young people within those schools to learn about environmental matters through fun and educational activities available at our Eco-Summit events across West Sussex.

I took along my display stand that looks at Shoreham as part of the global ocean and focused on the benefits we get from the ocean such as 50% of the oxygen we breathe. The display also explained why Shoreham Beach is special.

Bella was also there too with her message about water and her travels to the Amazon and Madagascar.


The theme of the event this year was sustainability and so we ran three workshops exploring plastic and considering if as invaluable to modern society or if it is an environmental scourge.

I started the workshop with the children suggesting things that were made of plastic and if this was a good or bad use of plastic and why.


To help understand how we have reached our current use of plastic, we explored how and why plastic was originally invented and how it was inspired by the amazing abilities and limitations of rubber. We looked at early plastics – such as celluloid – without which we would not have had a film industry at that time, which linked to the early film making at Shoreham.
We looked at Bakerlite which paved the way for modern plastics


I encouraged children to think of ways that the invention of plastic may have helped the environment – for example it greatly reduced our reliance on wood and reduced cutting down of woodland and rainforest).


We then discussed environmental problems from plastic, looking at terrestrial examples as well as marine. The children then took part in the Albatross game – which explores how albatross adults in Hawaiian Islands collect food (and accidentally plastic and other man-made items) which they feed to their chick. Explore plastic pollution threat to wildlife and the environment.

As albatross parents they will collect food for their chick. This will involve one child at a time picking up a card (face down) to reveal a plastic item or food item to feed their chick. Each child (albatross) will collect several cards and then we discussed the fate of their albatross chick.

Some collected just food items, some collected food items and small pieces of plastic some, a few collected food but also large items such as a tooth brush or disposable lighter. Will their chick survive? I then gave the children one last piece of information, just before it fledges the albatross chick will regurgitate a bolus of undigested food items such as squid beaks, fish scales etc and the bolus may include small bits of plastic, bottle tops etc.
The children then reconsidered the fate of their chick based on this.

We then looked at micro plastics with the help of a micros plastic activity and then discussed sources such as photo-degraded plastic, micro-beads and nylon threads from our clothes.
Consider if modern society can exist without plastic and discuss ideas of how society/we can help reduce the plastic debris problem.


We finished by looking at possible replacements for plastic such as bio-plastics made from natural materials – this included a possible new plastic made from the shells of shrimps and prawns that are currently discarded each year as part of seafood processing.
We then discussed ways that we can help with the current problem by choosing carefully what we buy, by reusing and recycling.
It was a great day and the children were very excited and keen to apply what they had learned to their own school or at home.

It was an amazing day.

You can find out more at

Friday, 9 June 2017

World Oceans Day

Hi all
Due to important river defences work on the River Adur to avoid future flooding of the town, this year’s Adur World Oceans day did not take place on Coronation Green. This would have been the 18th year this popular event has taken place at Shoreham. World Oceans Day 8th June, is a global opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. Around the word, a week of events to celebrate the ocean have been taking place.
To help mark World Oceans Day we sent an article to our local paper raising awareness of Ed the Bears global travels as  well as the local consequences to sea level rise.

In fact, the consequences of rising sea levels is the main reason the Adur World Ocean Day event did not take place this year. We often think of melting ice caps as being the only cause of sea level side, but actually half of sea level rise so far has been due to the oceans getting warmer – as water warms it expands and when this happens on an ocean wide scale that’s a lot of extra water”.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A little bit of Shoreham Beach visits the EYE Eco Summit

Today we took a little bit of Shoreham Beach to Littlehampton Academy for the E.Y.E summit. E.Y.E Stands for Eco Young and Engaged – The E.Y.E. Project was established in 2008 by Tim Loughton, M.P. for East Worthing and Adur. The Project aims to raise sustainability awareness and encourage young people’s interest in the environment. It provides an additional opportunity for the young people within those schools to learn about environmental matters through fun and educational activities available at our Eco-Summit events across West Sussex.
There are now three EYE summits each year (and I have been privileged to have taken part in many since 2008).
This year the focus of our workshops was the secrets of the seashore strandline, using two ‘pebble print laminate sheets’ to create two beaches and on each beach he created two strandlines made up of natural objects and marine debris.        

                                                                                                                                                     We started the activity with an introduction to the nature reserve and then encouraged the children to identify the natural objects such as crab shells, ray, dogfish and whelk eggs as well as cuttlefish bones and various sea shells.
The first part of the workshop focused on the fascinating biodiversity along our coasts. This was followed by a PowerPoint quiz testing what the children had learned and adding extra facts and images of the animals that the natural objects came from. This included cuttlefish, dogfish developing in its egg case, tube worms, spider crab and piddock.

The workshop also explored marine debris on the beach and discussed the hazards it can cause and the different ways marine debris can find its way onto the beach.

Fishing net which was washed up by the tide, plastic bag left behind by a beach user, a shot gun cartridge that was washed down river and cotton buds that passed through the sewage system.

The workshop was repeated three times during the day along with other workshops run by Sussex Wildlife Trust, Southern Water, Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, Farming & Countryside Education and Plumpton College,Wastebuster and Sussex Green Living.

 Steve also took a display stand that included Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve, our marine education Programme and of course me, Ed the Bear

More pictures of the event taken my Littlehampton Gazette

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Ed the Bear supports Earth Hour

We have supported Earth Hour again this year and encouraged people to do the same. Earth Hour is a great way to raise awareness and focus on energy use and the threat of climate change.
During the hour we turned off all lights and enjoyed the glow of numerous candles as well as turning off all other non-essential electrical appliances such as computers and TV. 

For three years now, Ed the Bears UK base has used solar panels to provide much of the electricity to run the administration of the project in the UK - including the charging of mobile devices such laptops and cameras. 

Each year millions of people, businesses, and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and generally make noise to shine a light on the need for climate action.

You can find out more about Earth Hour at

Friday, 10 March 2017

Help Scientists Research Decline in Penguins throught Citizen Science

Hi all

This week is British Science week and a great time to get involved in some citizen science. I have meet many penguins in travels, including jackass Penguins inn Africa and inn Antarctica I meet King penguins, Gentoo and chin strap penguins.

Many penguins are in danger and scientists are studying the Antarctic penguin populations to find out why some species are declining.

So me and my buddy Steve, along with thousands of other people, are taking part in a citizen science project called Penguin Watch

The scientists have thousands of photographs that have been taken remotely and they need help counting all the penguins in each picture.
For each picture you count the adult penguins, chicks, eggs and other wildlife present.
There is an easy introduction on the website to explain how to help. I hope you will have fun helping the scientists help the penguins.

Ed the Bear

Monday, 13 February 2017

Ed the Bear at the Brighton Science festival

Hi all

Its time again for the Brighton Science Festival and along with friends of Shoreham Beach we set up our beach and ocean exhibit.
Each year I get to share another of my adventures and also talk story about the many things I have learned and experienced during my global travels such as that 50% of the oxygen we breathe on land actually comes from phytoplankton in the ocean.
The ocean also moderates our climate and weather, provides fresh water and 15% of global food. New medicines are being discovered in the ocean and the ocean is also a great pace for fun and wellbeing.
Sadly, the ocean is being damaged by many human activities such as plastic, climate change which is warming the ocean threatening marine life and also causing flooding.
Man made carbon dioxide is also changing the chemistry of the ocean causing ocean acidification.

Shoreham Beach and the River Adur are currently suffering the local consequences of global sea level rise from climate change as the sea and river defences are being raised. As the oceans warm - the water expands taking up more space and so sea levels rise. Melting glaciers is also a major reason why sea levels are rising.

I have also encountered some amazing wildlife to. I have sat with penguins on the polar ice, come nose to nose with great white sharks, dived on coral reef and shipwrecks and much more.
I have also observed the amazing wildlife we have on our on beaches in the UK - including the amazing local nature reserve on Shoreham Beach.

In fact we ran two drop in workshops where we demonstrated some of the amazing animals that live in rock pools on Shoreham Beach.

An amazing thing happened, you will never guess, the sea anemone actually gave birth to a tiny baby sea anemone on the day.

In between the drop in sessions we ran a video showing some of the places I had visited and animals I have encountered.
This included penguins in Antarctica and South Africa, great white sharks off South Africa, humpback whales and Laysan albatross in the Hawaiian Islands, coral fish, turtles and much more.

Friends of Shoreham Beach had an amazing exhibit about the  rare shingle plants and the fascinating wildlife that lives on the beach. There was also a strandline quiz and a plastic pollution exhibit.

My sister Bella also shared her adventures - looking at why freshwater is so valuable - in nature and to wildlife as well as humans.

As you know Bella is based at the Lewes Railway land Nature Reserve where she explores how water is important not just to the animals that lives in freshwater but also to the many animals that visit freshwater to drink, bathe, catch food, or lay eggs.

Bella has made two trips to the Amazon Rainforest in Peru and see some amazing wildlife. But its hard to believe that there is a shortage of clean drinking water in the rainforest for humans and Bella visited a community where they had a new water filter to make the river water safe to drink. You can find out more about Bella the Bear at Bella Bear's World of Water.

It was an amazing day with lots of questions from fascinated visitors.