PMNHS Annual Field Meeting(s)

Porcupine Marine Natural History Society

Annual Field Trip Meetings 2018:

Lyme Bay, Dorset – Summer Field Trip

May 16th to 19th 2018

Leaders: Frances Dipper & Lin Baldock

Shore East of Lyme Regis

Porcupine will be visiting Dorset in May and will be based around Bridport (West Bay). We will be hiring a local village hall or similar as a ‘lab’ where we can look at specimens. Please register your interest ASAP to (for Lyme Bay shores) or Lin Baldock (by 8th April for Lyme Bay Seasearch diving).

SHORES: Over the four days we will visit a variety of shores within Lyme Bay that have rocky areas. Potential candidates are West side of Portland Bill, Great Ebb (from Eype), East Ebb and Goldencap (from Seatown), Canary Ledges (from Charmouth), Broad ledge and rocky shore west of Lyme Regis. One particular aim is to collect records for Sabellaria alveolata along the Lyme Bay shore and we also aim to add to the Dorset Algal Atlas.

DIVING: Seasearch diving is also being arranged, dependent on there being sufficient interest. Provisional details are:

  • 16th May (preferred) OR 18th May – Lyme Regis on Blue Turtle details here – targets some diverse rocky ground about 5km SE of Lyme Regis and maerl-rich ground a bit closer to Lyme Regis.
  • 17th May – West Bay on Ruby J details here – targets being sites close to the boundary of the Lyme Bay closed area which may be impacted by incursions from boats using bottom towed gear.

Lyme Harbour

Diving depths will be 20-25m (nitrox recommended). Dives might be gentle drifts in the interest of covering some ground to add to our Dorset seabed mapping project. Costs would be in the region of £45-£55 for a two-dive day. Air/nitrox fills can be arranged either from Lyme or back in Portland.

We need to confirm vessel availability but it would be very helpful to know now if there is sufficient interest to book the boat. If you are interested in diving please contact Lin Baldock at by 8th April.  We will give Porcupines priority, but we are in a position to augment numbers with local divers in the interest of filling the boats.

Mullet peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland – Autumn Field Trip

Saturday 8th to Saturday 15th September, 2018

Leader: Julia Nunn

The Mullet SAC (a relatively remote area in the NW of Co. Mayo) has been studied since the early 20th century with ad hoc visits by the University of Reading (1969-1972), Queen’s University Sub-Aqua Club and Dolphins Sub-Aqua Club (1970s-1990s) and The National Museum Wales & National Museums Northern Ireland expedition (1988). The area was surveyed by BioMar (1990s) and MERC (2008). No Seasearch expedition has yet taken place in the area.

Around 200 live species of mollusc have been found on the shores of Mullet. Necessarily this implies that the same sites will also be very good for a wide range of other marine fauna and flora. The sites are a broad range of exposures and habitats, from sand to mud to rock. The non-native species have not been specifically surveyed here; and a number of other groups are almost certainly under-recorded e.g. bryozoans.

Elly Bay

This field meeting is a joint expedition between Porcupine Marine Natural History Society, The Conchological Society of GB & Ireland and Seasearch Ireland. The purpose of this field meeting is to introduce these shores (and some brackish loughs) to those interested, and to survey all species groups where there is appropriate experience. A Seasearch diving week is being organised in parallel with the intertidal using a local dive operator. There are also shore dives available.

The excursion is for 7 days, Saturday 8th September to Saturday 15th September inclusive. The majority of the fieldwork will be for six days from Sunday 9th to Friday 14th.

All sites are within 30mins drive time. At least one large self-catering house has been booked which will have plenty of room for participants to work on material, to get help with identifications and to socialise. Additional accommodation can be booked.


A copy of all records generated will be passed to National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin, and uploaded to the NBN Atlas. There are no conservation issues with this field meeting for intertidal or diving.

It is essential that all who wish to attend should let Julia know as soon as possible, as accommodation and the dive boat must be booked and deposits paid in early 2018.