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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!