NWSRO takes to the skies!

In December 2022, NWSRO were invited to present at RAF Valley’s Total Safety Day. Director Gem, Media & Campaigns Officer Fliss, and new volunteer recruit Aine went along for what turned out to be a day full of highs! (quite literally).

During the morning, we were very honoured to be introduced to the team working as part of RAF Valley and got to hear more about their quest to have as minimal impact on the local environment as possible. After this, we were invited to present to pilots and engineers everything NWSRO. We talked about our research, how communities like the RAF could aid us in conservation, and highlighted some of our rescue work with British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).
After finishing up with questions we were kindly invited by Wing Commander C. F. Pote to take a flight around Ynys Mon in his private small aircraft to trial an idea about the use of aircrafts in aerial surveying. NWSRO works to limit disturbance to an absolute minimum and not introduce any new stressors to wildlife on our coast. In the past we have trialled numerous methods of land surveying as well as the use of drones with limited success on our remote and rocky coastline. Commander Pote demonstrated how slow the aircraft was able to glide and more importantly how it emitted a sound less than that of a car.
We monitored the seals reaction to the plane and were incredibly pleased with the results. We hope to utilise this in the future and work with amazing people like Commander Pote to safely allow us access to usually inaccessible areas to carry out our work with as minimal impact.

We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the RAF for being so welcoming and interested in our work, particularly those that organised and invited us to present. We are very much looking forward to meeting you again in the future! Onwards and upwards!

NWSRO 2022 Round -Up!

Record breaking sightings, numerous school visits, multiple online courses… what we accomplished in 2022…

Thank you to all of our supporters this year. Here’s what we achieved with your help in 2022!

One of our most successful years for engagement so far!

We had the pleasure of visiting three local schools to talk to young people about the importance of marine conservation and all things seals! We loved the level of enthusiasm we received at our visits and hope to inspire more young conservationists in the years to come!

Throughout the year, we were invited to over seven conferences, taught three online scientific courses and over sixty important conservation meetings!

In May this year we attended the North Wales Conservation Managers Forum where our Director Gem Simmons was honoured to be a speaker talking about seals as indicator species and our updated seal conduct awareness campaign as well as important rescues along the North Wales coast.

Towards the last half of the year, Bangor University invited us to host presentations to their Endeavour Society. We spoke about marine mammal conservation and careers in marine science. We loved engaging with all the enthusiastic students about seal conservation and hope to return in 2023!

In September, as part of The Climate Coalition Cymru’s ‘Great Big Green Week’ we took part in a very special live broadcast of the Backyard Beast’s popular podcast for the second year running!

Towards the end of the year we presented at the Royal Air Force on Ynys Mon and have many exciting ideas in the works for 2023 that will benefit research and rescues of seals in North Wales in the future!

Nearly 1000 seal sightings reported!

This year we have received the highest number of individual sightings reported to us! Our sightings included :

• Grey seals

• Harbour seals and,

• Deceased individuals

This record is completely dedicated to our supporters, YOU!

We are beyond proud and would like to say a special thank-you to our 2022 top reporters, Ann Evans, Susan Lawton and Stuart D’Arcy! As well as all of our other regular and casual reporters. All three have done an amazing job reporting on their local patch that allows us to have robust regular data helping our conservation efforts…

The NWSRO team keeps building!

In the latter half of the year, we began interviews for new team members and welcomed two new officers. Fliss Jerams joined us as our brand-new Media & Campaigns Officer and Eleanor Butler joined the team as our Education & Outreach Officer. Fliss and Eleanor will be working together to increase engagement and the reach of the organisation while instigating our exciting new education and trainee programmes while building on an already successful year.

We hope to keep on smashing our records and to have another amazing year in 2023!