March saw the return of the annual Bangor University Science Festival and this year, CBESS joined forces with the RESILCOAST projectfor an interactive saltmarsh stand in the Hidden Worlds Exhibition.
This event is always hugely popular and provides a great opportunity to engage with the public and showcase all that we do. This year proved no exception, breaking all previous records with 802 visitors to the School of Biological Sciences Brambell building over the course of the day.
The saltmarsh stand was a great success and the steady flow of visitors all received a warm welcome from Jordi Pages Fauria, Julie Webb, Mollie Duggan-Edwards, Cai Ladd and Martin Skov.
CBESS used the stand as an opportunity to showcase and trial the ‘Saltmarsh App’ which The University of St Andrews, The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Bangor University have been working on over the last few months. Visitors to the stand were able to test drive the App by conducting a virtual survey of soil types and images of dominant saltmarsh vegetation communities to predict carbon stocks in salt marshes. We got valuable feedback from the visitors, which has been incorporated into making the final version of the App.
The Lego saltmarsh was dusted off again and made a big splash! Children visiting the stand had to decide the best form of sea defence for a Lego village. The children generated waves that flooded the village (and half our display) and then had to decide whether to spend a lot of chocolate coins on taxes to pay for an expensive Lego brick sea wall that obscured the seaview or to opt for a ‘free’ Lego saltmarsh which did the same job, enhanced their sea view and meant that they could eat save their chocolate coins! of course the salt marsh proved the popular choice! This again was a lot of fun and proved a great demonstration for kids of the ecosystem service concept and the dilemmas facing coastal managers.