Scottish Seabird Centre - Members' Magazine 2019

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wonders of nature Scottish Seabird Centre Members’ magazine

Future vision:

For the Scottish Seabird Centre 18 20 22

Where Wondrous Creatures Roam Tackling Climate Change Changing Fortunes of Seabirds in the Forth

Image Š Bruce Meldrum

Scottish Seabird Centre and the environment Sustainability and the environment are at the heart of everything we do. We have produced this magazine in an environmentally-friendly way. However, to help save trees and to reduce costs, you can receive your magazine by email - just contact or call +44(0)1620 890202. Also, sign up to our enewsletters to be kept up-to-date with our latest news. You can do this at

Visit us January 11:00 - 16:00 February, March, September, October 10:00 - 17:00 April - August 10:00 - 18:00 November, December* Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 16:00 Closed Christmas Day. * Please note the Discovery Experience will be closed for refurbishment from 22 October 2019 to the end of December 2019. Check our website for further details. Design: Mr Smith Creative /


06 News 08 Forward Look 10 Discovery Experience 12 Education 14 Holiday Club 16 Wildlife Club


18 Where Wondrous Creatures Roam 20 Tackling Climate Change - the part the ocean plays 22 The Changing Fortunes of Seabirds in the Forth 24 10 years of lovin’ North Berwick Lobsters 26 Importance of a healthy marine environment


28 30 32 36 38 40 42

Volunteers Café Gift Shop Boats What’s On Legacy Kids

Find us Scottish Seabird Centre, The Harbour, North Berwick, EH39 4SS W: E: T: +44(0)1620 890202


Welcome from Susan Davies I was delighted to take up the Chief Executive role for the Scottish Seabird Centre in January. It has been a hectic 8 months as we start to steer our charity on a new course which gives much greater emphasis to our conservation, education and community-based activities. We say more about this in the short article on our plans for 2020-2025. One of the major changes currently underway is the refurbishment of the Centre. The first phase – our welcome entrance, café and retail offering was completed in time to re-open in April. The team are now working incredibly hard with Glasgow Science Centre and appointed contractors to ensure that the second phase, the education and discovery experiences, are completed by the end of the year. As part of this process we are also upgrading the interactive cameras on the Bass Rock – one of the features that was central to the vision behind the Centre when it was opened in 2000. We are extremely grateful to our Founding and Life Members who responded so positively to our appeal to reach the total funding target for the camera upgrade. We believe that everyone has a right to a clean and healthy environment and that protecting and restoring it will deliver many benefits, not least to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We therefore joined forces with a wide range of organisations under the Scottish Environment Link “Fight for Nature Campaign” to call on Scottish Government to build the fundamental principles of environmental protection and governance into Scottish law. We are looking forward to 2020 when we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. We will hold several special events during the year and hope to see you at these. Meantime, thanks for your continued support. Susan Davies Chief Executive

Update from Jess Welcome to the latest edition of the wonders of nature. Thank you to all the fantastic contributors and staff who have helped make this such an engaging edition and thank you to our members. Without your continued support we would not be able to deliver the range of education, outreach and conservation projects that you see highlighted in this edition. It has been a year of significant and welcome change for the charity, the extent of which will become clear as you read on through the magazine. Our new CEO, Susan Davies, joined the team in January and our long-awaited refurbishment

of the Discovery Experience is about to start. Our wonderfully upgraded café and retail space will remain open throughout the Discovery Experience closure (22 October – late December) when the new exhibits are being installed. We hope that many of you can join us at one or more of our events over the coming months (see our What’s On section for more on these) and to our preview of the new exhibits in December. As highlighted by Susan, we are already looking ahead to our 20th anniversary celebrations in June and look forward to updating you on the exciting events we have planned for this in the New Year.

As an organisation we continue to strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Our preference is to communicate with our members by email, to help reduce our use of print and paper. If you have not done so already and are happy to share your email address, please forward it to We will only use your email to contact you about membership issues and Centre news. It will not be shared with any third parties. We hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to welcoming you to the fully refurbished Discovery Experience very soon. Jess Thompson Marketing Manager

04 Special thanks The Scottish Seabird Centre is an independent charity dedicated to inspiring people to appreciate and care for wildlife and the natural environment. Registered Scottish charity no. SC025837. Registered in Scotland no. 172288. Our thanks go to all who have helped to support our education and conservation work over the last year. Like all charities, we are reliant on the generosity of our members and supporters.

The grants and donations we receive are vital in helping us to develop and deliver our charitable activities, as well as being able to extend our work and plan new initiatives. Some of those who have committed support over the last twelve months are named below. This list is in no way comprehensive; we are grateful to all who have supported us, many of whom choose to remain anonymous. Thank you! Recent donors include: AEB Charitable Trust Allander Print Cirrus Logic Coastal Communities Fund Cross Trust Cruden Foundation Ltd. Dulverton Trust Ellem Foundation Enterprise Holdings Foundation Ernest Cook Trust Forth Ports Gannets’ Deli Garfield Weston Foundation Geoffrey Clark Charitable Trust Graham and Henrietta Somervell’s Wildlife Trust Hamish and Doris Crichton

Special thanks and editorial contributions Charitable Trust Inchcape Foundation J and Jr Wilson Trust Jessops - Edinburgh John Lewis - Edinburgh JTH Charitable Trust Mackintosh Foundation New Park Educational Trust North Berwick Trust N Smith Charitable Settlement Robert Barr’s Charitable Trust Robertson Trust Royal Society of Biology Russell Trust Scottish Enterprise Scottish Natural Heritage Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust Spear Charitable Trust St Mary’s Charity Susan H Guy’s Charitable Trust Tay Charitable Trust Tesco: Bags of Help Thistledown Trust Tori Ratcliffe Art William Grant Foundation Wolfson Foundation

Photography credits Images bring our magazine to life! We would like to say thanks to the following photographers: Sean Bell Susan Davies Jan Ferguson Charlotte Foster Greg Macvean Rob McDougall Bruce Meldrum Lesley Scott Phil Taylor Phil Wilkinson

Special thanks to Bruce Meldrum from British Divers Marine Life Rescue who provided the incredible cover shot of a humpback whale in the Firth of Forth this spring. Editorial contributions This issue contains articles from many valued contributors and we would like to extend a huge thanks to all of them.

The grants and donations we receive are vital in helping us to develop and deliver our charitable activities, as well as being able to extend our work and plan new initiatives. Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

05 Special thanks

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

06 News The latest from the Seabird team and what we have been working on!

Welcome to our new Marine Engagement Officer, Charlotte Foster By taking our activities and messages to schools, groups, clubs and communities outside of North Berwick I’ll be helping to expand the reach of the Centre. Wherever I go, I’ll be aiming to boost awareness of our local marine life, increase the appreciation of its importance, and hopefully inspire as many people as we can to protect it. With our seas facing ever worsening threats, it’s now more important than ever for people to be aware of these issues and feel a connection to the environment on their doorstep. Thankfully these problems are now much more widely discussed and participation in environmental citizen science projects and conservation activities, such as beach cleans, are on the rise. I passionately believe in the importance of engaging the public with the natural world and am very much looking forward to providing more opportunities for people to get involved and discover more about the marine environment.

Hello, I’m Charlotte – it’s a privilege to be able to introduce myself as the Marine Engagement Officer at the Scottish Seabird Centre. It’s wonderful to be here! My role is a new position within the team and focuses on engaging new audiences and connecting more people to our wonderful marine environment. Whether this be through new events, partnerships, venues or resources, my job is to build on the high-quality learning experiences already delivered at the centre and spread them throughout Scotland.

Over the next few months I’ll be diving into lots of different tasks including running activities at the Midlothian and Dundee science festivals and planning next year’s events (such as our 2020 Meet the Scientist programme). I’ll also be working with our education team to develop new additions to our fantastic ‘Marine Loan Box’ collection – a selection of fun, educational resources available for community and school groups to borrow free of charge. Looking further ahead, 2020 will see me running activities for our 20th anniversary and Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. What a great year it’s going to be!

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

Welcome to Charlotte and Emily

Introducing our new Volunteer Co-ordinator, Emily Burton We are delighted to have secured funding from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for a new project and associated position, based here at the Seabird Centre. The role is Volunteer Co-ordinator: “Edinburgh Shoreline – The Wildline�. This post is part of a wider partnership project, led by the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, to improve the quality of the shoreline environment for people and biodiversity from Edinburgh out along the East Lothian coastline. We are very pleased to welcome Emily Burton into this post, joining us from RSPB. Emily is working alongside our Marine Engagement Officer, Charlotte and SOS Puffin co-ordinator, John Hunt to develop the volunteer and community-based networks required to deliver the strands of the Edinburgh shoreline project related to seabirds - control of invasive non-native species at targeted sites.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

Forward look 2020 - 2025 by Susan Davies

We have been working with our Board of Trustees, staff, partners and stakeholders to develop a strategic view on what our priorities should be for 2020-2025. This planning comes at a time when global awareness of marine environments, the pressures these are under and the need to act is rapidly growing. 2020 is also our 20th anniversary and the Scottish Government’s Year of Coast and Waters and both provide a platform for telling a wider story about Scotland’s seas. Our new organisational vision reflects our intention to extend our remit from a focus primarily on seabirds to one which covers Scotland’s seas and the diversity of amazing wildlife it supports in the broadest way. Our vision is “To help ensure that Scotland’s marine environment is healthy, wildlife-rich, valued and enjoyed by current and future generations”. We have had conversations with a wide range of organisations and our own people about the type of organisation we will be in the future. This has led to us agreeing a set of organisational values that will underpin our overall approach for “Inspiring and educating people about the Scottish marine environment, motivating people

to care for it and supporting conservation”. Our organisational values – Passionate, Inspiring, Innovative, Collaborative, Informed, and Trustworthy - will define the way we will engage with partners, visitors and each other. We have settled on three programmes of work. Conservation - We will continue efforts to build a compelling case for the protection and restoration of our marine environments and to showcase marine conservation best practice. This will see us developing further as a hub for projects that improve our understanding of Scotland’s marine environment; especially Scotland’s internationally important breeding seabird populations. Working with partners we will support practical conservation activities, such as control of invasive species impacting on coastal habitats and wildlife and building on the expertise we have developed through initiatives such as SOS Puffin. Education – We will build on our highly regarded educational programmes offering indoor learning opportunities (through our refurbished classroom, Discovery Experience and school workshops) and outdoor learning opportunities that are topical and aligned with the Curriculum for

09 News

Excellence. Our emphasis will be on stretching our educational impact into secondary years and life-long learning opportunities in partnership with Universities and Colleges. We recognise the importance of ensuring that our educational offering is inclusive, so we will develop a new programme of marine-based outreach resources to reach new audiences through science festivals, local events, and disadvantaged groups in targeted areas of Scotland. Our innovative family-based science shows will continue and will tackle new themes to bring the issues affecting the marine environment to life. Communities - We will work both with communities of place and interests. Our Centre is a fantastic resource that provides facilities that can be used with local partners in North Berwick and East Lothian for appropriately themed activities and events. We will also reach out to the marine science community so that they can use the assets we have in our Centre to communicate their science to a broader audience, helping them to increase the impact of their findings. With investment in our interactive camera technology, we will be able to develop partnerships which use this digital technology for research projects.

Supporting our work are our people (trustees, staff and volunteers), our physical assets (our Centre including the education classroom, and discovery areas) and our digital resources, including an expansion into virtual reality underwater experiences. We also need to ensure that our governance structures are modern and shaped to best support our charitable activities and that we develop a new, sustainable, finance model for the future. Whilst we will continue to offer a significant tourism offering from our Centre, in North Berwick, we will be developing partnership opportunities that extend the network of marine interpretation sites around Scotland.

“ We are excited about our plans for the next 5 years and look forward to continuing to work with a wider range of partners, our staff, volunteers, members and funders to realise our ambitious plans.�

10 News

Dive in to our all new Discovery Experience

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

It has been a year of significant change here at the Scottish Seabird Centre. We are extending our scope to look at the broader marine environment, marine wildlife and the challenges facing them including climate change and marine plastics. We are developing a fresh vision for the charity and a new 5-year plan that will establish local and national partnership opportunities (see page 8 for more information on this). As part of this we have been refreshing all aspects of our 5-star visitor experience over the course of the last 12 months. The first stage of work focussed on the reorganisation of the upstairs space to create more room to share details of our charitable mission; ‘to inspire and educate people to appreciate, understand and care for the Scottish marine environment’ and improve our retail and café experience. This work was completed in early April and has been very well received.

The themes for the new exhibits in the Discovery Experience include: Seabirds; Marine Wildlife (including intertidal zones, cetaceans, and seals); Threats (pollution, climate change and invasive species); and Discovery which focuses on the local islands, sightings board and our upgraded interactive live cameras. Working closely with the expert team at Glasgow Science Centre the new exhibits will be cross generational ensuring that there are points of interest, games, digital and physical activities and information to engage people of all ages and backgrounds. The new exhibits have been designed to ensure that content can be easily updated, ensuring we keep the experience current and fresh over the coming years. We look forward to welcoming you to a preview of the new exhibits in December and hope you will join us to celebrate the next phase of our development as we enter 2020 and celebrate our 20th year!

We are now about to enter the second stage of the refurbishment, which will see us completely overhaul the Discovery Experience exhibition content. The education centre will also be refurbished, providing improved space and facilities for visiting schools, as well as afterschool clubs and other visiting groups.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

12 Education We were delighted to welcome Fran Clarke to the role of Education Officer, this year. Here she gives us an update on her first year.

Fran Clarke, was appointed as the new Education Officer in November 2018. A qualified teacher and passionate environmentalist, Fran has worked in several different departments within the charity, before taking on her ideal role of Education Officer. Here she shares an update on all the exciting activities from her first year. We took the opportunity during our refurbishment closure to focus our time on delivering outreach sessions to schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians, especially those in areas of deprivation, for whom the cost of travelling to the Centre can be prohibitive. Based on feedback from the schools the young people really get a lot out of these engagements as do we – we find them rewarding and motivating and it is an important strand of our inclusive approach. The summer months of May and June were very busy. One of the strongest features of our learning programme is the opportunity to make use of our stunning coastline to inspire young people and give them early access to nature. We exceeded our target for outdoor learning with 100% of Seaside School sessions heading onto the beach. We were also delighted to receive positive feedback on the content from participants. Activities such as rock pooling, as well as environmental topics like waste and water management, are some of the most popular sessions. We monitor our content continually and work in partnership with teachers and schools to explore new themes and activities that can be delivered either at the Centre or further afield.

Overall we have been able to deliver over 2,760 learning sessions including sign-assisted (British Sign Language) sessions. Over 60% of the schools engaged were from the 15% most deprived areas within travelling distance. In addition to our core education and outreach sessions, we deliver science engagement and learning events, at the Centre and throughout Scotland. These include Live Science Shows, aimed at young children and families, Meet the Scientist evening talks from experts and events at Science Festivals, including Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian and Orkney. We are keen to widen our target audiences to reach new age groups, from different social and geographic communities in targeted areas of Scotland. Throughout the year over 400 children and young people were engaged via partnership activities including Youth and Family Outreach, Scouts and Beavers, groups for children with complex needs, school fairs and welcoming education bodies from overseas. We also delivered our first community science activity day, as part of World Ocean’s Day. This included rock-pooling sessions, beach cleans, arts and crafts, 3D films and a Live Science Show, provided free of charge and in partnership with local organisations. This proved hugely popular and we plan to extend it for next year. Extending our learning events will be supported by the recruitment of a fully funded Marine Engagement Officer, who started this August.

Wildlife Club continues to prove popular. Partner sessions included a visit to the Lobster Hatchery and creating seasonal chalk pictures with a local artist. We are exploring splitting the Club into 4 age groups, to enable better interaction with the older children.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

“ I learned so much about seabirds and animals under the sea because of the brilliant 3D film it was so fascinating. I even learned some new fish like sea slater. I learned new plants like sea kale and sea campion.” Feedback from school children taking part in ‘Seals and Seabirds’ workshop

“ I just wanted to drop a quick note to record our absolute gratitude and joy at being able to experience the science show provided by Malcom this week at our school. During my teaching career I have been fortunate to experience some amazing shows, but I can genuinely say that with regards to pupil engagement, interest and impact, Malcolm’s show ranks amongst the very best. The visually engaging aspect of the show allowed all our young people to be able to access the learning, and the enthusiasm for the topic and delivery meant that each pupil was totally spellbound and focussed on the important messages being delivered. We simply would not have been able to access this show had it not been offered for free, so please do not hesitate in passing on my details to whomever provides the funding for this show to visit under privileged areas as I would certainly be a strong advocate for this show and the associated messages to reach as many areas as possible.” Feedback from Outreach session Mayfield Primary School

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

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14 Holiday Club Education officer Fran provides an update on all the fantastic fun and games at the Seabird Holiday Clubs.

Following on from the previous success of our Seabird Holiday Club, this year we decided to expand into two age groups. This summer we saw our largest ever uptake, with over 30 children attending. A big thank you to the hard work of our wonderful volunteers and staff – we had a fantastic week!

helps children to understand and respect nature and their environment – it makes a great classroom for all ages. We took the children outside every day for lots of different activities; a beach clean, exploring the shore, nature walks, looking for animal tracks and signs, scavenger hunts and shelter building to name a few.

We focused on local wildlife and our investigative science skills. The children learned about the natural world and enjoyed exploring the rockpools of the East beach, North Berwick. We spent an afternoon looking at the incredible diversity of fish that can be found in the sea and the different depths that they live at. The children were delighted by some of the stranger looking species that dwell in the deep and they made some lovely fish puppets and decorations to take home.

The children had a fantastic time, as did we. We were delighted to be able to expand this year and we look forward to our next Holiday Club in October!

The children learned through investigation about the science of the sea – we focused on buoyancy and did some salty science experiments. We also covered other areas of science such as gravity with balancing games and the creation of some beautiful gravity art – combining science and painting. We travelled back through time to the Ice Age and told a story through our own cave paintings – no paintbrushes here! We learnt what life was like during this time and how different our lives are now. The children put their survival skills to the test on the beach where they built shelters and cleaned seawater. Our green fingered gardeners learnt about plants and sowed some seeds to take home. We also collected interesting items on our nature walk. A real highlight for many of the children was being able to create and keep a plaster cast footprint of an animal. Playing and learning outside is an important part of our holiday club. The great outdoors

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

“ We could not run our Wildlife and Holiday clubs without the help of our wonderful Volunteers” Fran Clarke, Education Officer

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

16 Wildlife Club All the highlights from Fran and the Wildlife Club team this year.

The Wildlife Club has had a super summer term, with lots of fun activities and some fantastic weather! We kicked off the summer term with a woodlouse investigation, creating several experiments to find out their food and habitat preference. The older children then used Lego bricks to make a T-shaped maze for the woodlouse and considered these questions: What happens when you force a woodlouse to decide to go left or right? What does s/he do the next time? After comparing their results, the children recognised that the woodlouse will usually change direction. We discussed why that was and there were some fantastic theories – as a class we came to the conclusion that this behaviour helps woodlice from going around in circles. We then had an exciting session learning how to use microscopes - a new experience for many of the children. We learnt about animal and plant cells, then used our microscopes to look at some onion skin layers. We could see the cells under strong magnification and we even did some scientific drawings. The older children enjoyed swabbing their cheeks and creating their own microscope slides to observe under the scopes. We enjoy collaborating with the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery and this year they kindly asked us to collect some species from the

rocky shore for their tanks. We love to go rockpooling, so we carefully selected a few creatures and brought them over to the Hatchery. The Hatchery team showed the children the equipment they use and some of the larvae, juvenile lobsters and the enormous adults. A big thank you to the Lobster Hatchery for giving the children the opportunity to get up close to these beautiful crustaceans. This term we were delighted to welcome a local artist, Esther Cohen from Tantallon Studios, to explore seasonal art with the children. We used a range of different materials, including acetate so the children could experiment with movement in their pieces. Chalks were used to create the stunning seasonal backgrounds and we learnt from Esther about light and how to recreate this on our own pieces. A big thank you to Esther for coming down to work with the children – we all really enjoyed it. We said a special goodbye this year as our P7 Senior Branch members graduated. It was particularly special as some of these members have been part of our wildlife club since P1. We wish you all the best for your future adventures. Wonderful work from all our wildlife clubbers this term.

Learning is fun:

We are always keen at the Scottish Seabird Centre to promote outdoor learning, as the great outdoors makes a wonderful ‘classroom’ for all children.


Where Wondrous Creatures Roam

Morven Summers, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Communications Officer

Seeing a dorsal fin break the surface of the sea fills you with a sense of wonder. People are fascinated with whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans), and we are intrigued by their lives beneath the waves. The Hebrides – the islands off the west coast of Scotland - are a special place where there is a chance to catch a glimpse of these mysterious creatures all year round from land and sea. Hebridean waters are rich and diverse. A quarter of all cetacean species known worldwide have been recorded here, including ocean giants like humpback and fin whales – the second largest animal on the planet! They are home to some of the highest densities of harbour porpoise in Europe, and support resident communities of bottlenose dolphin and the unique and vulnerable group of killer whales known as the West Coast Community. Seasonal visitors arrive on masse in the spring and include the minke whale - the smallest of the baleen species – common dolphin and basking shark. Despite minke whales only spending part of their time in the Hebrides, some individuals return year after year – for over a decade in some cases - and are well known to researchers. Common dolphins relatively uncommon a decade ago – now super pods of common dolphins that go as far as the eye can see are encountered.

19 Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

Although wild, beautiful and seemingly pristine, Hebridean seas are under threat from the impact of human activities. With marine mammals threatened by climate change, entanglement, pollution, underwater noise and habitat degradation, long-term research is crucial to understanding these impacts, and how we should best protect cetaceans from them. The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) has been monitoring cetaceans off the west coast of Scotland for 25 years. Data is key to gaining a better understanding of our cetacean species, and through expedition surveys undertaken on board Silurian – HWDTs research vessel – the Trust has generated one of the largest coherent databases of its kind for UK waters. For the past 15 years, Silurian and the citizen scientists who make the research programme on board possible, have travelled more than 100,000 kilometres monitoring our remarkable Hebridean seas. That’s the equivalent of sailing two and half times around the world. Silurian has recorded 30,000 animals during 13,000 sightings of 15 different species. The most frequently seen species has been the harbour porpoise, with more than 5,000 sightings. Paying volunteers spend the days scanning the seas for wildlife and the evenings exploring some of the most remote and beautiful anchorages the west coast has to

offer. The same rigorous survey methodology has been used for 16 years, ensuring that the data collected are consistent and comparable between years, providing a wide scale assessment of cetacean distribution and animal behaviour. Anthropogenic parameters, such as underwater noise and marine litter, are also monitored to identify emerging threats and understand the conservation implications and risks. The long-term assessment of cetacean distribution that HWDT data provides is crucial because it produces a powerful and comparable data set that can be used to identify important areas, and detect trends and changes in the marine environment. One such example is the increasing number of shortbeaked common dolphins that have been observed over the past decade in the Hebrides. There is still so much to learn about Hebridean cetaceans and the challenges they face, and it’s only through continued monitoring that we can fill the gaps in our knowledge. Conservation is driven by people and through citizen science, people are more involved than ever. Join HWDT on board Silurian, get involved directly with conservation and have an incredible experience sailing our beautiful Hebridean seas. Find out more at or contact


Tackling climate change – the part the ocean plays John Baxter

Seabird Centre Trustee John Baxter addresses our current global climate emergency

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

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There is a global climate emergency – the evidence is clear for all to see, but there is still a great danger that the world is sleep-walking towards irreversible disaster. Over the last 180 years or so the emissions of carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere through our burning of fossils fuels, cement manufacture and intensive agriculture have increased rapidly. What is not so well known is the role that the ocean has played in mitigating the impacts of such emissions as a major heat and carbon reservoir. For example, if the same amount of heat that has been absorbed in the top 2000m of the ocean over the last 60 years had gone into the lower 10km of the atmosphere then the Earth would have seen a warming of 36°C. In other words, much of the world would have become uninhabitable. The ocean has been our greatest friend and saviour and yet we continue to abuse it, and as ever it comes at a cost. As the ocean warms it affects the distribution of species, the more cold-water species moving northwards and deeper in search of cooler water. As a result, those species that depend on them for food, such as many seabirds that rely on sand eels have to travel further to find food and face a greater struggle to successfully rear their chicks. As the ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide it becomes more acidic and this puts greater stress on many organisms, especially those with calcareous skeletons, including many of the microscopic planktonic algae (the phytoplankton) which form the base of all marine food webs. As the water warms oxygen is less soluble leading to reduced oxygen levels in the water – deoxygenation – putting greater stress on many marine species and results in some parts of the seabed and water column becoming uninhabitable.

Despite all these stresses the ocean continues to give – but for how long? In addition to absorbing vast amounts of heat and greenhouse gases it is now becoming apparent how the ocean is a vital carbon store much like the forests and peatlands on land. This marine carbon is known as ‘blue carbon’. The ocean both captures carbon and stores it. The extensive kelp forests that fringe much of Scotland’s coast capture large amounts of carbon through photosynthesis. Some of this is recycled by grazing animals etc., but some kelp detritus is buried in the sediments and locked away. Other seaweeds also contribute to this process including ‘maerl’, this is a red seaweed with a calcareous skeleton that lives in relatively shallow areas with a bit of a tidal stream. It forms thick beds with a thin veneer of live maerl on the surface and then dead deposits beneath, akin to the peat deposits beneath the live sphagnum mosses. From carbon dating of the maerl in cores taken from one bed in Orkney we know that maerl has been trapping and storing carbon for at least 4000 years and probably longer. But these habitats and carbon stores are themselves under threat, rising temperatures may affect the distribution of kelp, ocean acidification may start to affect the calcareous skeleton of the maerl. Other habitats whilst not directly capturing carbon dioxide act as vital sinks for carbon stores. The deep muds on the sea bed of many of Scotland’s sea lochs are a very important carbon sink. Latest estimates suggest that compared to an equivalent area of peat bog the muds store five times more carbon. Further research is underway in Scotland to gain a better understanding of the scale of our blue carbon resource. It has yet to be fully quantified but from the initial estimates it is clear that it is significant. What is most important is that we ensure that, now we are better aware of the scale of the resource, we do everything we can to protect it. Despite everything the ocean keeps on giving, we need all the friends we can find to help us address the climate emergency. There is no excuse for inaction – ignorance is no defence – we know enough to realise what we need to do.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine


The Changing Fortunes of Seabirds in the Forth John Hunt Former Trustee of the Scottish Seabird Centre and co-ordinator of our SOS Puffin project. Each summer small groups of enthusiasts set off for the islands in the Forth to count nesting seabirds. They are volunteers from the Forth Seabird Group which has organised counts since 1959, accumulating an impressive and valuable body of data about seabirds in the Forth. Counting seabirds is not as easy as you might think. How do you count hundreds of nesting gulls when most of them are up in the air protesting at your presence? Some of the large colonies can only be viewed from the sea and peering up a big cliff with binoculars from a rolling boat has upset many a tummy. You only have moments to count large numbers of densely packed birds on one section of cliff before the boat moves on to another. Do you count in ones, fives or tens and are you sure those are guillemots and not razorbills? Have you nagging doubts that you may have missed some or double counted? All good fun! All the islands are counted each year though the Isle of May is dealt with by Scottish Natural Heritage. The gannets on the Bass represent a particular challenge and are counted by ornithologists every few years using aerial photographs. So what can be deduced from all this data? The first thing to be said is that 60 years ago there were far fewer seabirds nesting in the Forth than there are today. The exception are terns which used to nest in substantial numbers on several islands but which were largely displaced some

years ago by increasing numbers of gulls. But back in 1959 all the other species were just starting the remarkable boom which most seabirds enjoyed up until almost the end of the millennium. Since then several species have declined significantly. Most affected have been kittiwakes whose numbers are down by two-thirds since their peak in the 1990s. Shags have fallen by nearly a half while fulmars and guillemots are also down by about a third. However razorbills are doing well and are now back at their 1995 peak. Puffins are more difficult to count but seem to be holding their own in recent years while gannets on the Bass are at an all-time high though they and other seabirds face an uncertain future with the development of the huge offshore wind farms across the mouth of the Forth and Tay estuaries. Where declines have occurred, they are linked to poor breeding success caused by the lack of small fish such as sandeels and it appears that the surface feeding seabirds are most affected. Rising seawater temperature, damaging fishing practices and pollution are all likely to be implicated. We are right to be concerned at falling seabird numbers but the Forth has so far fared better than the colonies in the Northern Isles. This year seabirds have generally done well and with some 180,000 pairs of nesting seabirds in the Forth we should be able to enjoy them for many years to come.

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24 Feature

10 years of lovin’ North Berwick Lobsters Lesley Scott, Director and Administrator of Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery

The Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery is a seasonal operation that works alongside the lobsters natural breeding cycles, typically between May and September. Currently celebrating its 10th year at North Berwick harbour the charity has been hatching, rearing and returning the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) back to sea. A Coastal Communities grant in 2014 enabled the purchase of a production container and systems to help maintain the breeding females and since then 1,000s of juvenile lobsters, as well as publicly sponsored breeding females have been released back to sea in an effort to bolster lobster stocks for the future. Unusually for a marine conservation charity the east coast lobsters used are a commercial species, worth millions to Scotland’s economy as they contribute to community fisheries and enable working fishermen to remain in harbours. Lobster fishing is a more sustainable and ecologically friendly way to catch seafood, causing little damage to the seabed with minimal by-catch, ensuring undersized lobsters are returned to the sea alive. Around 85% of all Scottish shellfish is exported live to Spain and Portugal as their stocks have been depleted so much. North Berwick lobsters were also exported until the advent of the Lobster Shack and Rocketeer that now takes most of the catch from the three local fishing boats. Good news ecologically and economically with carbon neutrality, high protein food available to the public at affordable prices and local employment. The Scottish Government, looking to improve sustainability and conserve stocks introduced v-notching which marks the females with a v cut into the tail. Ensuring their safe breeding until they moult out the v the Hatchery has released about 200 sponsored v-notched females in the last two seasons. This year, with the help of a grant from Sea-Changers, a UK Marine Conservation Charity, all lobsters used in the project will be v-notched.

The Hatchery’s aim is to educate and inform the public about this aggressive and solitary crustacean, found all around the Scottish coastline, with visitors fascinated by how small and vulnerable the lobster larvae are. Collaborating with the Scottish Seabird Centre a ‘Claws’ workshop shows schoolchildren the hatchery process from egg, through the first four vulnerable moults to a swimming juvenile lobster that stands a better chance of survival on release. Marine conservation continually evolves, as does understanding of lobsters and their role in marine ecosystems. Rearing lobsters in captivity is not a new concept, but as lobsters take 5 to 7 years to get to landing size, it has never been viable commercially. Looking to the future, with stresses on over stretched, depleted or recovering global fisheries and lower numbers of breeding females, hatcheries can contribute by releasing juveniles to bolster numbers. The Hatchery has observed notably smaller and younger maturing females in recent years. The quality and quantity of the eggs produced is slightly poorer than larger females, who improve as they age and grow, meaning larval survival is weakened. Shortening seasons, ‘with less egg bearing females’, have local fishermen reporting more effort to get the same numbers from previous years. The future of lobsters in Scotland, without sustainable intervention, is under threat. With increased understanding of the importance of protecting marine habitats and the creatures within them, Government change and protection of lobster stocks, the areas of water where they breed and hatcheries like the Firth of Forth Lobster Hatchery may just give lobsters a fighting chance. If you would like to help in any way: donate, group visit or volunteer during 2020 season (May to September) then please contact The Hatchery If your school would like to book a ‘Claws’ workshop contact or call +44 (0) 1620 890202

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

26 Feature

© Scottish Natural Heritage

Importance of a healthy marine environment Susan Davies CEO, Scottish Seabird Centre A recent global assessment highlighted that 1 million species now face extinction. The Scottish Government has declared a climate emergency and the United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science. In 2020, countries from across the world will meet in Beijing, China to develop and adopt a new 10-year plan to halt the loss of biodiversity under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. A fundamental part of the national and international conversations now taking place, and the actions required to reverse climate change and the loss of biodiversity, must focus on how we ensure our marine environment is protected and restored to a healthy and resilient state.

Scotland’s marine environment is exceptional and diverse. We have over 18,000km of coastline, in excess of 900 islands, 61% of the UK total sea area and an amazing diversity of wildlife with over 6,500 species recorded. Scotland supports a third of Europe’s breeding seabirds, important marine habitats such as cold-water coral, kelp forests and flame shell beds, and important species that include basking sharks, dolphins, porpoises and seals. About 35% of Europe’s harbour (or common) seal population also occur in UK waters with 83% of these found around Scotland’s coast. Scotland’s seas provide vital natural services to society and make an economic contribution including climate regulation, food provision, renewable energy, scientific discovery and education opportunities. But our seas are under pressure from climate change,

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

27 Feature

Image source: Shutterstock

exploitation of marine resources, pollution and invasive species. Research shows us that a healthy marine environment can help mitigate the effects of climate change by capturing and storing significant amounts of carbon. Marine wildlife, such as maerl, a delicate red calcareous seaweed, traps and stores carbon locking it away in its skeleton for years to come. Other coastal and marine habitats such as seagrass meadows and saltmarsh also lock up carbon and are essential for climate change adaptation, protecting us from storms and sea level rise, reducing shoreline erosion and regulating coastal water quality. They are also important for sustainable commercial fisheries. It is critical that these habitats are protected and restored into the future.

Our charity is uniquely positioned to communicate evidence and knowledge about the amazing wildlife, threats and benefits of all of Scotland’s seas through our dedicated discovery, classroom and outreach education programmes and our digital resources. Using diverse, innovative and immersive engagement methods we can help bring the wonders of the marine environment closer to people to increase awareness of its value. In doing so we hope that more people will be able to add their voice to the conversations taking place now and the actions required to respond both to the climate emergency and to reverse the predicted catastrophic declines facing much of our wildlife.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

28 Volunteers An update from Chairperson, Sandy Forrest

We would very much like to welcome new members to our group. Many of us are Volunteers as well as Members and perhaps some of you reading this might consider joining our “ranks”. We were very sad over the last couple of months as we said “goodbye” to two of our most committed Volunteers. Pat moved to Porthcawl to be closer to her family, and Isabel’s health suggested she should cut down on some of her activities. Both Volunteers had been part of our Group since the Scottish Seabird Centre began and had spent many hours with visitors and children in the Discovery Experience and Education Classroom. We shall miss them greatly. However, every cloud has a silver lining and we have been lucky to find 6 new Volunteers over the last few weeks who are finding their feet and we hope enjoying the experience.

We have been busy throughout the year serving refreshments at the Artisan Fairs, one each month. Our next date is Saturday 16 November so do pop in. Our main Coffee Morning is on Saturday 8 December in the Hope Rooms for which we would welcome raffle prizes and home baking. It would be great to see some of you at these events, please come up and say hello to a “purple person”! Don’t forget to keep your cameras “flashing” collecting wildlife photos for the Volunteer run Members’ Photography Competition. We have several entries already, and entries close on 31st October, with excellent prizes to be won! Details can be found on the website

We would very much like to welcome more new members to our Group. Many of us are Members as well as Volunteers and perhaps some of you reading this report might consider joining our “ranks”. Volunteering is very flexible, ranging from greeting visitors to the Discovery Experience, to helping at Coffee Mornings, to assisting with education groups, to helping with admin tasks in the office (we do not help in the café or Retail where specialist training is required). A phone call or email to the office would receive a speedy reply, and introduction to our “merry band”. Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

29 Volunteers

30 Café


The Scottish Seabird Centre is the perfect location to kick back, enjoy some locally sourced food and drink and soak up the tremendous views over the sandy beaches to the Bass Rock. Vegan menu options A vegan diet is known to produce a lower carbon footprint than an omnivorous diet. If you choose to make this positive change, whether you are having a meat free day or following a vegan lifestyle we have great options available on our Seabird Café menu. Try our delicious vegan chilli on a jacket potato, with a selection of salads and choose from a variety of vegan cakes, good for you and good for the environment. Save money, stay hydrated and prevent plastic pollution A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and it’s predicted that figure will rise by another 20% by 2021.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine


Our vision is for a healthy wildlife rich marine environment and in order for this to thrive we need to cut back on our single use plastic. We are very happy to be part of the ‘refill revolution’ and have signed up to the Refill App. The app lists all the free water refill stations around the UK. So, don’t forget your reusable bottle as wherever you go, there will be a refill location near you. We also encourage our customers to use reusable coffee cups and as an incentive, offer 50p off your takeaway coffee and tea. However, don’t worry if you forget your cup, we use only Vegware and Planglow cups and containers for our takeaway drinks and food. They are made of renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials which can be composted with food waste.

Our move towards a more sustainable future continues with plastic free drinks bottles in our café, non-plastic straws and sourcing sustainable fish where possible. Familiar faces It has been a very busy summer in our Seabird Café and it is always a pleasure to welcome back returning seasonal staff. Asked why they are keen to return to the Centre over their summer holiday the main reply is “this is the café with the best view!” Of course, we are always very happy to welcome them back!

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

32 Gift Shop

Sustainable Shopping

James, our Retail Manager, has been busy sourcing, lots of fantastic new eco products for our fully refurbished gift shop. All profits from our cafe and giftshop are used to support our charitable activities so you can feel good while you treat yourself. Salvage Fashion James, our Retail Manager, has designed some t-shirts, featuring the North Berwick skyline. They are available in several different colourways with contrasting sleeves. The t-shirts boast the Salvage logo, as they are manufactured from 100% recycled materials. The company Salvage, collect the cuttings from organic cotton textile production, shred them and turn them back into soft cotton fibres. Fibres from recycled plastic bottles are then added to provide the polyester/cotton mix. The blended fibres are then spun into a fine yarn and the t-shirts created. Smidge Water Bottles and Travel Cups To brighten up school and work days, we are stocking a fantastic range of drinks bottles from Smidge, available in vibrant colours including aqua, citrus and coral. Also, for coffee and tea

drinkers, we are pleased to stock the new rCup, the first reusable cup made from recycled paper coffee cups with a plastic lining. It is 100% leak proof with a push open, push close lid, perfect for life on the go. Treat yourself to one and enjoy guilt free coffees. Eco Chic The Eco Chic range in the shop have expanded and now include foldaway shoppers, holdalls and rucksacks in a variety of unique patterns and fabrics. Eco Chic’s goal is to create sustainable products that make the little changes easy, fighting against throw away culture. Designed to be reusable, lightweight and waterproof, the bags are guaranteed to last. How to Give Up Plastic Now available in our gift shop, ‘How to Give up Plastic’ not only explains how we got into this mess of plastic pollution but offers an optimisitc approach as to how we can manage it. Written by Will McCallum, Head of Oceans at Greenpeace, it suggests small changes which can make a big difference. These range from replacing shampoo bottles with bar shampoo, buying a reusable coffee cup and organising a local beach clean.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

33 Gift shop

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

34 Gift Shop

Gullane Glog Further locally sourced goodies on sale in the Seabird gift shop are Gullane Glog and Gullane Ripple, created by Julia Sutherland. These are fabulous winter mixers and zingy summer mixers for wine, cider or beer. After a few bad experiences with mulled wine, Julia decided to create her own mix, to add to wine. After numerous attempts of trying different blends of various spices and juices, she eventually found a blend which worked very well and was served at a local fundraising event. Julia was approached to make more of the mix and that was just the start of Julia’s business. By 2017, ‘Gullane Glog’ was launched and became a great mixer for mulled wine but also a tempting winter fizz aperitif when added to sparkling wine. Gullane Ripple quickly followed as another exciting venture for Julia, especially enjoyed over the summer months, mixed with your favourite sparkling wine, cider or beer. A blend of raspberries, pineapple and a spicy kick of ginger, this makes a wonderful drink for summer parties. Gullane Glog and Gullane Ripple make fabulous gifts or just treat yourself!

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

35 Gift shop

Fidra Gin

This year, we are delighted to stock locally made Fidra Gin in our gift-shop. Inspired by the stunning East Lothian coastline and landscape, Joanne Brydie and Emma Bouglet have worked together since 2017 to make their dream of Fidra Gin a reality. Made with a delicious combination of 6 different botanicals, Fidra is a crystal clear, pure and fragrant gin with a slightly salty tang of the sea. Summers are spent foraging and collecting the juiciest, most flavourful sea buckthorn and rosehip found among the sand dunes and hedgerows of the beautiful East Lothian coastline. The thyme, lemon thyme and elderflower are also grown locally at Archerfield Walled Garden, ready to be picked for each new batch of gin. The gin is made in small batches, a crystal clear, pure and fragrant gin with a slightly salty tang of the sea. Some love it served with tonic and a slice of grapefruit but try for yourself, this delicious locally made coastal gin.

36 Boats

Wonderful Things James Leyden James is the senior boat guide on our Isle of May boat trips.

37 Boats

The Isle of May is a National Nature Reserve owned and cared for by Scottish Natural Heritage. It is also a Special Area of Conservation for its grey seal population and reef habitats. The site is important for studies on its internationally important breeding seabird colonies.

the amazing terns, and my personal favourite the fulmar, the newly introduced visitor can learn how and why the story of seabirds resonates with their own. In particular, that serious environmental message juxtaposed with the beauty, joy, and awe of immediate island life and surroundings.

Every year we can enjoy the amazing early summer spectacle as tens of thousands of seabirds return to breed on this slab of volcanic rock in the North Sea. Visitors continue to be drawn from the four corners of the world and as one of the Isle of May Guides, it is my role to try and make sure our Scottish Seabird Centre guests obtain the best from their time with us both on the boat and on the island.

Then there are migrant birds. The island plays its part as a rest and refuel station during the spring and autumn migrations that typically bookend the summer breeding season. It’s all about the anticipation of what unexpected visitor might turn up next.

Reasons for visiting the island vary but it’s fair to say the puffin is very often high on the list. With the best part of 100,000 breeding puffins the Isle of May plays host to one of the largest UK colonies, but this instantly recognisable and very popular bird can also act as an incredible agent for the seabird world. There is more going on. A lot more. From the puffins’ auk relations, the guillemots and razorbills, to the eiders, shags, kittiwakes,

Every trip is different and the island experience varies as the season progresses. Typical early breeding starters like shags and eiders can finish their breeding season whilst other species are still at full tilt. The fulmar can straddle them all. This demure seabird starts breeding early and continues beyond when most others are long done.

And let’s not forget the approximate 1,000 years of important religious history, dark tales of smuggling and incursions, royal visitors, village life, and a few hundred years of lighthouse keeping families and communities. This island I feel still has many hidden secrets to reveal. “The May” is an island that I have discovered so often takes people by surprise. At the end of the trip, which is about 3 hours on the island and about an hour or so altogether on the boat, we often part company with our guests in a very different place to when they started – that’s emotionally, not physically!

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

38 What’s On

What’s On

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

39 What’s On Members’ Christmas Shopping Event 28 November 5pm-7pm Ease into the festive season this year with our extra special Christmas Shopping evening. Come along and enjoy Christmas carols and festive food & drink as you browse our fantastic range of eco-friendly, sustainable gifts - helping make your Christmas a little greener. As members you will enjoy special Christmas discounts as a thank for your ongoing support of the charity. Festive discounts will continue through to Sunday 1 December. Volunteers Coffee Morning Saturday 7 December, 10:00am Hope Rooms, North Berwick Join our wonderful Volunteers for their Christmas coffee morning on Saturday 7 December at the Hope Rooms, North Berwick. There will be delicious home-made pancakes to enjoy with tea and coffee. Shop various stalls including home-baking, tombola, books, jigsaws and raffle. Meet the Scientist Events We are working on an exciting programme of talks for 2020, with a great range of speakers being lined up to share their knowledge and passion about Scotland’s amazing marine environment and the challenges it faces. Please keep an eye on our website, which we will update as talks are confirmed over the coming months.

Holiday Club We will be running our popular holiday clubs in the 2020 February and Easter breaks. The 4 day clubs will include a whole host of fun indoor and outdoor marine themed activities that make the most of our amazing coastal location. February club will run Monday 10 February Thursday 13 February and in April they will run from Monday 6 April - Thursday 9 April. For more information and to book please contact Community Beach Clean 5 April 2020 10:00am In collaboration with North Berwick in Bloom and East Lothian Countryside rangers, join us for a Beach Clean to help turn the tide on litter and do something great for your community. All equipment is provided and to thank you there is free entry to the Discovery Experience. Dress for all weathers and meet at the east beach boating pond.

40 Big thank you! Fundraising update by Charlotte Bray

As a conservation and education charity, it is encouraging to see not only the variety of support we have received this year, but the range of activities this funding has enabled us to develop and deliver. One of the most exciting developments has been securing funding for a new Marine Engagement Officer, thanks to the William Grant Foundation. The Foundation, together with other funders, has been integral in helping us develop a programme of outreach and science engagement activities, including Meet the Scientist events and partnership with Science Festivals throughout Scotland. The new role (appointed to Charlotte Foster, see page 6) will be dedicated to exploring and extending this work and reaching new audiences in targeted areas across Scotland. Our marine loan boxes are another initiative that helps people engage with Scotland’s fascinating coasts and waters. A small grant from the Royal Society of Biology will support the development of new materials for secondary age years in our loan boxes. These will initially be used at science festival events (Dundee, Midlothian and at our own Centre) during the Society’s 2019 Biology Week. This year’s Live Science Shows were as popular as ever, helping introduce some of our youngest visitors to the wonders of the

marine world. The Easter programme was made possible thanks to public voting via the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. Our core education programmes have also received significant support. We were especially grateful to those Trusts and Foundations, like the Hamish and Doris Crichton Foundation, Robertson Trust and Garfield Weston Foundation, who stepped in at a point when our previous funding from the public sector was withdrawn. Thanks to these Foundations, we will be able to continue our outdoor learning programmes, including engaging young people from schools in areas

41 Legacy

of deprivation by subsidising workshops and transport, helping remove a key barrier to their participation. Building on the success of SOS Puffin, we were pleased to receive funding, as part of a bid led by the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to enhance the Edinburgh shoreline. Scottish Natural Heritage’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund enables us to deliver a 12-month project to remove invasive plants impacting native species on the Firth of Forth islands and along the East Lothian coastline. We are delighted to have a post to help us deliver this, see page 7 for more information. In addition to programme work, we have been able to undertake a significant refurbishment of our Centre facilities, thanks to major funders, Coastal Communities Fund, and Wolfson Foundation as well as, trusts, companies and generous individuals.

As part of this, we will also be able to upgrade and future-proof our interactive Bass Rock cameras. This is thanks both to organisational giving and to the support of our Friends for Life and Founder members, who responded to our camera appeal with such generosity. We are extremely grateful for support in any form, which helps us to plan, develop and deliver our important work. Cash boxes, donations and online fundraising raise vital unrestricted income for our charity. This year support has included funds raised via the Great Scottish Walk and sales of wildlife paintings. Gifts in kind are also invaluable, helping us save money and reallocate it where it will make the most impact. Interactive iPads (John Lewis), photography prizes (Jessops), decorations (Tesco), design and print costs (Allander) and digital consultancy advice (Scottish Enterprise), are just some of the areas of support we have received this year. Whether it is by becoming a member, fundraising for us or giving a donation, we are hugely grateful to all of you for everything you help us to achieve. Thank you.

42 Kids Activities for big ones and little ones alike. Enjoy!

Islands of the Firth of Forth Did you know, the Firth of Forth covers an area of 1,670km² and contains over 10 islands? Unscramble the letters below to reveal the names of 5 of the islands.


Puffin Puzzle! We have loved seeing the puffins over summer season from our cameras on Craigleith and the Isle of May. Join in with our puffin-themed puzzle.

1 2 3

Across 3 The name of a puffin’s home 4 A puffin’s favourite food 5 A structure that puffins make to protect their eggs Down 1 The name for a group of puffins 2 The name of a baby puffin



Word Bank sand eel; nest; circus; puffling; burrow

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

Eggbox Rockpool / Seaside in an Eggbox

43 Kids

Be creative and follow these easy steps to make a fantastic eggbox rockpool. You will need: Empty egg box Arts & crafts materials A selection of shells, pebbles, and other items from the seaside


Step one: Find an empty egg box


Step two: Paint the inside of the egg box blue then leave to dry.



Step three: Gather items to put in your box. These can be things found at the seaside such as shells, dried-up seaweed and rocks, or things that you’ve made yourself such as drawings and plasticine models of animals. In our example, we simply drew cartoons onto scrap paper and coloured them in. (Note: Please don’t collect live animals and plants for your box – they need to be by the sea to survive).

Step four: Place the items into the box and arrange them however you wish! You can even make things dangle by attaching them to string and sticking them to the lid of the box. Ta- da! What an “eggs-ellent” box you’ve made.

Scottish Seabird Centre magazine

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