DMF Summer/Autumn Webinars 2020

Three images, left to right: a marine wind farm; a male Corkwing Wrasse (courtesy of Paul Naylor); and a seahorse in seagrass

Organised and hosted by the DMF in partnership with Natural Devon (LNP)

Three, Free Webinars

In lieu of our Spring/Summer Conference 2020, the DMF in partnership with Natural Devon will be organising and hosting a short series of Summer/Autumn Seminars.   The THREE seminars will focus on: i) Blue Recovery; ii) The State Of Devon’s Seas; iii) Blue Carbon.  These FREE, on-line, bite-sized seminars will pack a lot into their 60 minutes, and will be a mixture of short presentations, Q+A, and discussion.  Further details below.

Seminar 1:  Blue Recovery

  • Date: Wednesday 15th July 2020
  • Time: 11.00am – 12.00pm (1 hr)
  • Place: On-line
  • Number of tickets available: 35

As we begin to think and move beyond our initial response to the recovery stage of the COVID-19 crisis, many environmental NGOs, economists, health professionals and the government’s own statutory advisers have been calling for a ‘green recovery’ to address the linked challenges of public health and well-being, the climate emergency, and biodiversity loss.

In a similar vein, for a county like Devon and a region like the South West, we might also want to think and talk about the notion of a ‘blue recovery’: what that might entail and look like, and how we can collectively plan for and enable a happier, healthier, cleaner, greener marine.

The first of the DMF/LNP’s Summer/Autumn Seminars will focus on the idea of a Blue Recovery.


Timing Programme Item Speaker
11.00 Welcome and Introduction Prof. Ed Maltby
11.05 Blue Recovery (Biodiversity): Nature Recovery Networks (Marine) Ed Parr-Ferris  (DWT)
11.15 Blue Recovery (Climate Change): South West Marine Renewables Prof. Richard Cochrane (UoE)
11.25 Blue Recovery (Health and Wellbeing): Towards a more active Devon Tom Mack (Active Devon)
11.35 -12.00 Facilitated Q+A Prof. Ed Maltby/Attendees


Seminar 2:  The State of Devon’s Seas

  • Date: Wednesday 29th July 2020
  • Time: 11.00am -12.00pm (1 hr)
  • Place: On-line
  • Number of tickets available: 40

We’ve seen the TV programmes, heard the news, perhaps read some of the reports, we know nature is not doing well.  Species are in decline, habitats are being degraded or destroyed, and ecosystems are under enormous pressure.  Sobering stuff, but to what extent is this the case for Devon’s marine environment: it’s estuaries, coastal and offshore waters?  Perhaps they are doing better than we imagine, perhaps much worse.

The second of the DMF/LNP’s Summer/Autumn Seminars will take stock of the state of Devon’s seas and examine just how healthy (or not) our marine environment is. While it may not be possible to have a complete marine census, having at least a sense of where we are, and how Devon’s doing, seems a useful place from which to start on the road to [blue] nature’s recovery in our region.

We are extremely fortunate to have a number of institutions in our county/region undertaking world-class, pioneering marine research.   For our seminar on The State of Devon’s Seas we will hear from Owen Exeter from the University of Exeter and Dr. Sian Rees from the University of Plymouth on two of the very latest approaches and assessments on the state of Devon’s marine environment.


Timing Programme Item Speaker
11.00 Welcome and Introduction Dr. Steve Guilbert (DMF/LNP)
11.05 An Ocean Health Index (OHI) for Devon Owen Exeter (University of Exeter)
11.20 North Devon Marine Natural Capital and Risk Register Dr. Sian Rees (University of Plymouth)
11.35 – 12.00 Facilitated Q+A and Discussion Steve Guilbert/Speakers/Attendees


Seminar 3:  Blue Carbon

  • Date: Thursday 12th November 2020
  • Time: 11.00am – 12.30pm
  • Place: On-line
  • Number of tickets available 50

As Devon develops its Carbon Plan and considers where and how it will work towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it is crucial we both recognise and value the role the county’s coastal and marine environments, and its ‘blue carbon’ store, could potentially play in achieving this ambition.  But, while the notion of Blue Carbon has been around for a while, what it means as a concept is not widely understood, and what it means in the context of practical, local, on the ground initiatives and interventions in places like Devon has yet to be fully explored.

Addressing this deficit, the main aim of the of DMF/LNP organised and hosted Blue Carbon webinar is twofold: i.) to introduce the concept and science of Blue Carbon and ii.) to develop the conversation about how, where and to what extent Blue Carbon ecosystems can mitigate the impacts of climate change in Devon and wider South West peninsula.

To prompt discussion and kick of the conversation we have presentations from Prof. John Baxter (former Principal Marine Adviser at Scottish Natural Heritage, Adviser to the IUCN, and Chairman of the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum), Dr. Richard Unsworth  (Swansea University and Director of the conservation charity Project Seagrass), and from Fiona Crouch (Project Manager of the Natural England led LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project).


Timing Programme Item Speaker
11.00 Welcome + Introduction Dr Steve Guilbert (DMF/LNP) + Dr Matt Frost (MBA/LNP)
11.05 Blue Carbon: Introduction + Overview Prof. John Baxter (SAMS + Scottish Blue Carbon Forum)
11.25 Seagrass Ocean Rescue – Restoring Seagrass in Dale Dr Richard Unsworth (Swansea University)
11.35 ReMEDIES Project – Restoring Seagrass in Plymouth Sound Fiona Crouch (Natural England)
11.45 – Facilitated Q+A and Discussion Dr Matt Frost/Steve Guilbert/Speakers/Attendees