Natural England

05/03/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/03/2024 03:39

Discover seaweed beauty and wonder at Cornish Seaweed Festival

Press release

Discover seaweed beauty and wonder at Cornish Seaweed Festival

Weekend full of fun activities for the family. Includes unique opportunity to see the 200-year-old-plus Nereis Britannica by Cornish botanist John Stackhouse

From:Natural EnglandPublished3 May 2024

Seaweed plays a crucial role in marine ecosystems, supporting wildlife and biodiversity.

Seaweed may have a reputation for being slimy stuff that gets around our feet when in the sea, but it is fascinating, often beautiful, and plays a crucial role in marine ecosystems, supporting wildlife and biodiversity.

Now, Natural England, working in partnership with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the Mounts Bay Marine Group (MBMG) and the Linnean Society of London, is hosting a two-day Cornish Seaweed Festival in Marazion on Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 May.

The festival will see a host of free activities:

  • Participate in outdoor activities like snorkelling, rock-pooling and seaweed-foraging to discover the diverse species found along the Cornish coastline.

  • Immerse yourself in hands-on activities like seaweed art, craft, and cooking demonstrations.

  • Learn from seaweed experts through engaging workshops and fascinating talks.

Activities will take place at 5 venues in the town: All Saints Hall, Town Hall, Quaker Meeting House, Marazion Church Hall and the Folly Field, as well as the beach.

The Cornish Seaweed Festival will see a weekend full of fun activities for all the family.

There will also be a unique opportunity to see the Nereis Britannica, an illustrated book on seaweed written by Cornish botanist John Stackhouse and published in three volumes between 1795 and 1801. It is usually housed at the Linnean Society in London, but is being taken to Cornwall for the event following its restoration, which has been funded by Natural England.

Muriel Plaster, from Natural England, and one of the organisers of the festival, said:

Seaweed is often overlooked, but here off the coast of Cornwall, we have plenty of it. In fact, it's fascinating and often beautiful, it can be used for a myriad of purposes and has an important role in the ecosystem. So we hope to enthuse many people during the festival about just how wonderful seaweed is.

A spokesperson for the Linnean Society said:

We're delighted to be participating in the Cornish Seaweed Festival. Will Beharrell, the society's Librarian, will be talking about the 18th-century botanist John Stackhouse: one of the society's first fellows, a Cornwall native, and an expert on the seaweeds of Britain.

Will is also bringing our library's copy of Stackhouse's rare and beautiful book, Nereis Britannica, home to Marazion to view especially for the occasion! Cornish-born Linnean Society CEO Gail Cardew says this is a 'proper 'ansom' opportunity to learn more about seaweed.

Katie Bellman, community engagement officer with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said:

We are excited to be a part of this fantastic event, spreading awareness about the rich and diverse marine species we have here in Cornwall. We'll be exploring the weird and wonderful world of seaweeds through fun and interesting marine activities. There'll be a rockpool ramble and snorkel safari, whilst people will be introduced to the conservation of our seas through citizen science shoreline surveys and a silent disco beach clean.

Then to test you on your knowledge of all you've learnt throughout the weekend, we'll be holding a special seaweedy pub quiz. As part of our Your Shore work, our activities are open to all that want to join the local community action happening around the county to stand up for nature.

A spokesperson for MBMG, added:

As a local community conservation group, Mounts Bay Marine Group volunteers are thrilled to support this wonderful festival to celebrate the diversity, magic and wonder of our coastline. Offering a snorkel safari and rockpool ramble, we are so passionate to support Natural England to inspire, further discover, and enhance the special natural environment of Mounts Bay and its surrounding area.

Seaweed plays a crucial role in marine ecosystems, supporting wildlife and regulating marine biodiversity. It is also sustainable and has uses in food, skincare, and agriculture. The Cornish Seaweed Festival aims to shed light on these aspects through practical, hands-on learning and community engagement.

Admission to the festival is free, but prior booking for workshops and some events is required, with some requiring a refundable deposit. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

The events involving food should be booked directly through the host organisations, not on Eventbrite. To book a space at the Senara restaurant, at Truro and Penwith College, please email: [email protected].Tickets for the film screening should be booked here: 99p Films.

Updates are also being published on Facebook - Search "Cornwall Seaweed Festival."

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Published 3 May 2024