Park Rangers at Ruda Holiday Park recently hosted 70 students from Wellington School, Somerset, to teach them about the North Devon Coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at Croyde Beach, which is home to a diverse array of species and habitats.
The session took place with Plastic Free North Devon, a local environmental charity focussed on reducing the environmental impact of plastic pollution in North Devon and beyond.
The group of 14-16 year olds spent the day searching in rockpools for marine life and got stuck in using sweep nets to examine sand dune habitats whilst learning about what lives on the coast and the threats that these animals and habitats face. An abundance of different species were discovered including grass spiders, plant bugs, leaf beetles, and even a new species for the Ruda park records, a chequered weevil.
Holly Robertson, Beach Team Manager, Ruda Holiday Park, said: “It’s hugely important to teach young people about our natural habitats and environments and what we must do to protect them. It’s also crucial for young people to see first-hand how microplastics are damaging our coastlines and the impact they have on ocean and aquatic ecosystems. It was an interactive and informative day and the kids loved exploring the dunes and rockpools and discovering all sorts of different creatures.”
Parkdean Resorts is committed to caring for its parks, people, and planet to create a positive environmental impact on nature and resources, and to acting responsibly for the long-term sustainability of its business. Sessions like this are regularly run with Plastic Free North Devon through their schools programme as part of ongoing local community outreach.
This project has been funded by the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) and match funded by Parkdean Resorts. Further information can be found on the North Devon Coast AONB and SDF website.