Your Seas Education Programme

Your Seas (People & Port)

The Your Seas People & Port project delivers our Your Seas educational programme in Portsmouth and the local area, teaching people of all ages about the fantastic whales and dolphins that can be seen right on our doorstep and the threats that they face. The project works with local schools, businesses and community groups, giving thousands of local people the chance to learn more about the importance of whale and dolphin conservation through talks, events, marine wildlife festivals and training sessions.

- People & Port Community Wildlife Officer Anna Bunney with pupils from Portsmouth High School

Hear what local school children and teachers think of our whale and dolphin talks:

“I enjoyed looking at the skulls and tooth models as it gave me an idea of the size of the whales and dolphins,”  - Libby Mitchell-Brock in Year 5 - Portsmouth Grammar School

“It was a fantastic day for all of the children involved. They thrived upon the hands on learning experiences and had lots of opportunities to ask questions and investigate. Thank you very much.” - Westover School

“We really loved the dolphin science session! My class were captivated by your knowledge and enthusiasm and we've talked a lot about it since! It is great that you offer this to schools as I know my class have really benefited from it.  Thank you!” – Meon Junior School

The Your Seas People & Port project also launched the first annual ORCA OceanWatch in summer 2015, and ran this annual event again in 2016.  ORCA OceanWatch is an exciting new initiative aimed at involving seafarers in the collection of data on whales, dolphins and porpoises that they encounter whilst out to sea, increasing the awareness of the amazing wildlife that can be seen in UK and European Waters.

- People & Port Community Wildlife Officer Anna Bunney with Cheif Officer and Captain on the NorthLink MV Hrossey

How to get involved:

• Book a free evening/daytime talk about English Channel and Bay of Biscay whales and dolphins for your group or society
• Book a free Dolphin Science Workshop for your school, year group or class (available for all key stages)
• Book a whale and dolphin watching research trip on board the Brittany Ferries Pont Aven, sailing from Portsmouth down to Santander (for college, sixth-form and university students)
• Volunteer to deliver talks and workshops, fundraise, lead school groups and carry out land based whale and dolphin surveys

For more information, please contact Anna on anna.bunney@orcaweb.org.uk

Funding for the programme is being provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The RAISE Challenge Fund and The John Spedan Lewis Foundation

Your Seas (North Sea)

ORCA works in North East England to deliver the Your Seas educational programme.  Please note that the Your Seas North Sea project runs from March to September every year.  Please email us for more information on info@orcaweb.org.uk

Originally set up in 2012 as a two and a half year project with the support of DFDS Seaways, the Local Environment Action Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund Your Seas has evolved and continues to thrill locals in the North East to this day. Your Seas is currently supported by DFDS Seaways and the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland (Local Environment Action Fund and Port of Tyne).

Achievements:

From 2012 to 2014 the Your Seas team had some staggering results:

  • We worked with 147 schools giving Dolphin Science Workshops, excursions and field trips to 5,400 children and young people
  • 331 volunteers were trained as Marine Mammal Surveyors or Education volunteers and donated 2,213 hours of their time
  • 32,259 people attended 30 events, 2 Marine Wildlife Festivals and 18 talks

Working with local schools, community groups and businesses, ORCA teaches people of all ages about North Sea whales and dolphins and the threats they face and helps the general public understand how they can play a part in protecting the marine environment.

We know people engage in different ways so we provide a mixture of fun, memorable learning experiences to choose from. Together with our dedicated team of volunteers we deliver talks for community groups, organise awareness raising events and train volunteers to carry out land-based whale and dolphin surveys from designated coastal watching spots.

Fundamental to the ORCA Your Seas work is the formal Education Programme that we deliver across schools in the North East.  The programme teaches students dolphin science and builds up skills in dolphin research, culminating in an offshore survey field trip, on board DFDS King Seaways, with our experts.

Through these activities, we are bringing the underwater world alive and giving people opportunities to encounter wild whales and dolphins first-hand in the North Sea!

The Your Seas project was also a finalist in the 2015 National Lottery Awards.  Out of hundreds of entries, Your Seas was one of seven finalists in the Environment category.  Although we didn't win, we are extremely proud to have been a finalist and would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for us.

- Your Seas People & Port representative Anna Bunney (centre) with ORCA volunteers

How to get involved:

• Book a free evening/daytime talk about North Sea whales and dolphins or come along to one of our local wildlife watching events or festivals.
• Book a free Dolphin Science Workshop or Dolphin Research Excursion for your school, year group or class.
• Join our Wildlife Officers on the DFDS King Seaways for a school Dolphin Science Field Trip to Amsterdam looking for whales and dolphins!
• Volunteer to deliver talks and workshops, fundraise, lead school groups and carry out land based whale and dolphin surveys.

To book any activities or for further information please contact our office on info@orcaweb.org.uk

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