We are delighted to say that our special seasonal investigation to further scientific knowledge on lugworm spawning around the UK has been amazing so far!
2016 was a disappointing year for the southwest team as we discovered no lugworm sperm puddles on our beaches, yet this year we have already discovered a mass spawning event in Torbay!
The #Spermwatch surveys started in October, running through to the beginning of December. Volunteers are asked to walk 3 transects of 50 m (150 m total), counting lugworm casts and sperm puddles as they go... if they find any that is! Surveys are to be conducted every 3 days if possible, as lugworm spawning is thought to last up to a maximum of 3 days per annum... so we definitely wouldn't want to miss it!
To read more about this project and to get involved, visit: https://www.capturingourcoast.co.uk/specific-information/spermwatch or email us at: email@example.com
Our sites in the southwest this year have been at Wembury, Bovisand and Broadsands (Torbay) beaches in Devon, with one dedicated volunteer working on his local beach in Cornwall too.
SURVEY RESULTS SO FAR
Our survey season in the southwest started off a little bumpy, as we had some rubbish neap tides that made it impossible to reach the transects on the shore. We then felt the wrath of storm Brian, which not only made it a bit risky for volunteers to be heading out to the beach with the high swell, but also threw up tons of vegetation at sites such as Wembury!
Surprisingly for us though, volunteer Brian remarkably discovered many lugworm sperm puddles at a beach in Torbay on Friday 3rd November, which we think was a mass spawning event as no puddles have been found in the area since. Torbay is a very sheltered coastline on the eastern edge of Devon, therefore we think the protection offered by its location from our recent storms means that Torbay has seen optimum conditions for spawning this season... and we're hoping that our other sites follow suit!
Thanks to Mike, Tony, Brian, Gary and Colin for their dedication in surveying both our Devon and Cornish sites - these fabulous volunteers have been heading out routinely to check our selected sites and are even prepared to take puddle samples should the opportunity present itself!