ARMCHAIR explorers can learn how to survey the sea and shoreline thanks to online training launched by conservation agency Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
The training accompanies the Community-led Marine Biodiversity Handbook, Scotland’s first “how to” guide for planning and carrying out surveys and monitoring.
Participants will learn about habitats and species and how to improve their survey skills by taking a virtual dive, with real survey footage of a variety of locations around Scotland.
SNH aims to reach coastal communities, local environment groups and those who use the sea for work or recreation.
The guide and online training are part of the Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Project, a partnership between SNH, Fauna & Flora International, and community groups, with funding from the William Grant Foundation.
Caitlin Orr, a project officer at SNH, said: “We developed the handbook in response to the clear message we hear from people all around Scotland that they want to get more involved with their local coasts and waters and the decisions that affect them.
“The ongoing coronavirus restrictions inevitably mean that people won’t be able to get out and about using the handbook as we had hoped, but we wanted to develop a way for people to get started and begin to boost their skills right away.
“We hope that together with the handbook, this online training will inspire and support more people to get involved in monitoring our seas and shorelines when it is safe to do so.”
Read more conservation stories on Scottish Field‘s wildlife pages.