Sea life centre planned on Suffolk coast
A NEW centre for observing sea life has been created on the East Anglian coast and is set to attract thousands of visitors each year.Visitors to the Sea Watch centre, in a converted “look out” post on the coast at Dunwich Heath, will be able to use high powered binoculars and telescopes to view porpoises and seals and possibly dolphins and whales, as well as a variety of sea birds.
By David Green
A NEW centre for observing sea life has been created on the East Anglian coast and is set to attract thousands of visitors each year.
Visitors to the Sea Watch centre, in a converted “look out” post on the coast at Dunwich Heath, will be able to use high powered binoculars and telescopes to view porpoises and seals and possibly dolphins and whales, as well as a variety of sea birds.
A team of volunteers will also be carrying our regular monitoring in order to increase knowledge of wildlife movements off-shore.
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Funds to convert the old coastguard lookout at Dunwich Heath have been provided by the National Trust, which owns the property, together with the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Sustainable Development Fund, the Crown Estate, the Suffolk Development Agency and the East of England Development Agency.
A nearby building, a former Second World War generator shed, has been renovated to provide viewing access for people unable to climb the stairs to the main “look out”.
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“Both buildings have been transformed and now house interpretation boards on coastal processes and issues as well as materials to help people identify the surrounding sea and offshore species, ensuring everyone from novice to expert can enjoy sea-watching,” said Jane Travis, National Trust spokesperson.
The project has been a partnership with the Sea Watch Foundation which has supplied the interpretation material and will be training National Trust volunteers in wildlife sighting and recording.
The new facilities will be officially opened on August 15 - during the National Whale and Dolphin Watch Week.
Across the country there will be an opportunity for the public to become involved in the research being undertaken to understand the lives and movements of these wonderful creatures.
Twenty eight species of whales and dolphin have been recorded off the British coastline and some frequent the east coast where opportunities for the public to use high powered viewing equipment are severely limited.