Sustainable Scuba

During sustainability week, multiple different sessions took place at Forest and one of them was Sustainable Scuba! Here’s what they got up…

Forest School Sub-Aqua Club pupils began their sustainability activity by checking in to their accommodation in the New Forest YHA – tents powered by solar power for electricity and log burners for heat.

Friday’s windy conditions meant that diving under the pier was unsafe so to ‘Vobster Quay’, an inland lake, we went.

One of our Y11 pupil, Sebastian described the visit: “We started the trip in Vobster Quay, where we learnt about the white clawed crayfish: how this species, once dominant over the UK, suddenly had its habitat destroyed by the non native Signal Crayfish. Now recognised as endangered, the White Clawed Crayfish has been reintroduced to many areas across the UK: one of these being Vobster Quay. The reintroduction has been a massive success at the lake, coming from 4 individuals in 2009 to over 200 in recent counts. Some members of us managed to glimpse the aptly named ‘Vobster Lobsters’ as they are now a common sight in the shallower areas of the lake…

“This has taught us how important our native species are and if we try to make the environment around us as natural as possible, we can truly be more sustainable. We also learned how populations of muscles were introduced to keep the water visibility clear.”

Trainee divers Lauren Andrews, Tessa Smith, Seb and Xavi Webb-Martin returned to Swanage on Saturday to get to grips with the challenge of poor visibility diving under the Pier after the week’s stormy seas has stirred up the seabed. Qualified Divers Arnav Gupta, Adam Matthews, Razi Khan, Innis Wilcock and Zak Brown took the boat out to dive on a WW2 wrecks of the Valentine Tanks (sunk during D-Day preparations) which had developed into a new marine reefs over the last 80 years.

The boys were particularly amazed by the ‘3 huge conga eels they saw having taken up residence under one of the tanks.

Some of the rubbish picked up from underneath the pier at Swanage.