A walk on the wild side - Sand, Sea and Smart Tech

Date published: 02 March 2023

Visitors to the Murlough NNR will be able to experience the work carried out by the Marine Protected Area Management and Monitoring project (MarPAMM) via videos accessible from smart devices via the QR codes and information boards posted along a special walking route on the site managed by the National Trust.

The films (presented by Joe Lindsay from BBC Getaways) detail research carried out on the movement of sand and substrate on the Dundrum and Ballykinler beaches, the importance of conserving salt marsh and sandeel habitat, how to identify grey versus harbour seals, and what coastal bird species (such as Ringed Plover and Scoter) may be found in the area. It also highlights what can be done to protect important habitat features and species found in the NNR for future generations to enjoy.

Shifting sands
Shifting sands
Engaging with the public using smart technology provides scientists and organisations working on protected species and habitats with an innovative way to share current knowledge and advice on issues with local cultural and environmental significance. This broadens communication and interaction opportunities between researchers, policy makers and local communities, allowing closer working towards more effective management and sustainable use of our marine resources and providing a secure future for species and features increasingly susceptible to climate change.

The €6.4m MarPAMM project began in 2018 with funding from the EU's INTERREG VA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body.  It is led by AFBI with partners in Northern Ireland (Ulster University), Republic of Ireland (University of College Cork, BirdWatch Ireland) and Scotland (Marine Scotland, Scottish Association of Marine Science, NatureScot).

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