This Wild Parks post comes from Sue Overfield - Family Events Officer for Newcastle and Gateshead. On this occasion she's reporting on our work at a lighthouse! 

This year has been the first that the RSPB Wild Parks team has been working in partnership with St. Mary’s Lighthouse, Whitley Bay, and we are thrilled at how many connections to nature we have been able to make so far through this wonderful new partnership.

The lighthouse manager, Adam Kelsey of the North Tyneside Council, and his team have been hugely supportive of our efforts to engage children with the diversity of wildlife and habitats that St. Mary’s beaches and rocky shores have to offer. The council run a range of events here that you can find out about on their Facebook page

While most of our RSPB Wild Parks activities are hosted in urban green spaces, it is fantastic to have the opportunity to encourage children to also recognise the importance of our coastal wildlife havens, and can only enhance our offering of free public events in such spaces across the 17 cities that we’re working in on this project.

Look out for these banners in your city, and make use of our free family activities in your local park

Wildlife fun for all

We are very lucky to have been blessed with warm weather so far this season and it has brought many families out to enjoy our wild spaces, even on those occasions when the winds have been so strong that we have been unable to erect our feather banners! It is a delight to see families crouched around the rock pools with their shrimp nets and buckets, armed with our Rockpool Detective, Seabird Spotter and Wildlife Scavenger Hunt sheets, not to mention heaps of enthusiasm.

What did our explorers discover?

Even without nets and buckets, this location offers the perfect opportunity to discover a variety of species: from shore crabs to prawns, hermit crabs, beadlet anemones and tiny fish such as blennys and butterfish, not to mention the huge number and variety of seabirds.

However, one of the biggest thrills is seeing the many grey seals which haul themselves onto the rocks behind the lighthouse, or seeing them ‘bottling’ in the shallows with their noses pointing straight up while they survey the shoreline.

We’re really excited to have been invited back to St. Mary’s on several more Sundays this summer, and you will find us beside the causeway leading to St. Mary’s island and lighthouse. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out when our FREE tide dependent activities are on offer.

Facebook: RSPB Saltholme & North East England

Twitter: @RSPB_N_England

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