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Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve

The Marine Centre is on Broad Beach at Kimmeridge
Location of Kimmeridge, England
Yet again, Planet Patrol took flight over perilous seas on their quest for environmental knowledge and came across... Dorset.

Here we outside the wonderful Fine Foundation Marine Centre
This is a great place, with fabulous views of cliffs and the sea, and among it all even a deserted donkey oil mill that produces a whole tanker of oil a day from the Kimeridge oil shale. When we were exploring the cliffs, we came across this fantastic wildlife centre called the: 'Fine Foundation Marine Centre'. This is there to help young explorers, like yours truly to 'understand and appreciate the environment'.

Volunteers do regular beach clean-ups
It rests above the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve, which stretches 8 miles (about 13 kilometres) from St. Albans Head to Bacon Hole on the Dorset coastline. This reserve was first established in 1978 and is managed by Julie Hatcher, from the Dorset Wildlife Trust. The reserve's main purpose is to protect the habitat of many shallow - water marine life such as: soft coral, sea fans, sponges and anemones.

Goose barnacles that live attached to objects drifting on the ocean's
surface and feeding on plankton with their feathery feet
Sightings this year of marine life are of: Snakelocks, anemone, common lobster, cuttlefish of 18 inches long! (45 cm), fan worms, whimbrels, opossom shrimps, spot gobies, velvet, porcelain, columbus, pisa, shore and edible crabs, small periwinkles, toothed topshell and common whelk sea snails, squid, mermaids purse ( a juvenile shark/ ray still feeding on yolk sac) and peacock's tail seaweed. This is fantastic because less than 0.001% of our oceans are fully protected!

The marine camera lets you see the bottom of the sea without getting wet
For those with no nerve for diving, the Fine Foundation Marine Centre is brilliant because you get almost the same great marine experience; except on dry land. It is great to learn about the native marine wildlife, has a live link to a new seabed camera, and is great for kids like yourselves. It has fossils which you can trace, interactive 'fishing for knowledge' and a small aquarium of local marine life.

The UV light made our shoes glow in the dark!
The best fun thing was the marine display lit by uv light which made our shoes glow-in-the-dark!

It is mostly helped by all the wonderful volunteers who use their time for environmentally-good activities.

Looks like seaweed, but is actually pink seafan and
therefore it's an animal rather than a vegetable
This reserve was set up by the Dorset Wildlife Trust, a charity for the protection of our environment. It is the longest established voluntary marine nature reserve in the United Kingdom. I can't tell you what a brilliant place it is, the scenery is just wonderful and the wardens are kind and have amazing information to share. Make sure you visit them soon.

Pink seafan; a colony of animals related to soft corals. Slow growing at an
average of 1cm per year and can grow up to 1m / 100 years
If you would like to find out more about the Purbeck Marine Reserve, go to:

For more information about the Dorset Wildlife Trust, go to:

By Imogen Wadlow

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Purbeck Marine Wildlife Centre & Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Photos: Various sea life @The Wadlows