Report of General Monthly Meeting by Zoom - Tuesday 12th 0ctober 2021
Secrets of the Solent - by Emily Stroud, Hampshire & IoW wildlife trust
It wasn’t in Dublin’s fair city but online from Southampton where Winchester u3a first set its eyes on sweet Molly Malone, otherwise known as Emily Stroud. With her in-depth knowledge of the shellfish of the Solent, Emily was the ideal tour guide for a trip around the tidal shoreline of our nearest marine estuary.
Although she didn’t actually mention either cockles or mussels, her virtual wheelbarrow contained all manner of Crustaceans and Molluscs. From the manic movements of the green shore crab, via the boomerang-like underwater promenades of the limpet to the static filter feeding of the barnacle, we were well entertained and copiously educated in these creatures’ lives.
Much of Emily’s talk emphasised the decline in certain shellfish due to human activities such as trawling and the inadvertent importation of invasive species. Other failures have been due to natural factors such as the century old disease affecting samphire meadows.
Our speaker is very hands-on and much of the survey work is done by her. She told us of the difficulties with underwater counting, not least the ability of species such as seahorses and cuttlefish to assume masterly camouflage.
An excellent afternoon’s talk; Molly Malone would have been proud.