The Chesil Bank and Fleet Nature Reserve is one of the most unique habitats and valuable ecosystems within the British Isles, being home to vast internationally important seagrass beds, a huge variety of fauna and flora (of which some are unique to the Reserve), plus numerous other important and protected features. However, it is one thing to know these features, but to understand them and to ensure there preservation is the ultimate aim for us all.
Careful scientific research is regularly carried out on the many different aspects of the reserve, with permission granted by The Reserve itself, Natural England and other organisations/bodies too. Studies, such as the Small Fish Surveys, have been previously posted on this Blog. A recent piece of research is being carried out by a PhD student who is looking at the Metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s) within the sediment of the Fleet and identifying whether these are passed on to the worms that reside in this substrate. On a very, very wet May Wednesday, small core samples were taken from the Fleet shoreline at various locations. Despite having rain all day long, the PhD student and the Warden managed to gain all 10 samples required. These samples are now being tested and should give a clear indication if there are differing concentrations within the sediment and water that is reflected in the worms, which then has the potential to pass into wading birds.