Ronald Surgenor, Emma Dawber and Mandy Fall
Ronald Surgenor, Ulster Wildlife Trust
Ronald has been a dedicated volunteer sea-angler for the Trust’s Sea Deep project since the launch of the project in 2018. After completing his training, he has continuously endeavoured to tag sharks and skates and expand the project’s survey area by fishing in new locations. He holds the record for the most tags submitted, having tagged and released over 60 sharks of 6 different species, and his data contributes to datasets which are used to inform management and conservation. Ronald is so passionate about the conservation of local endangered sharks and skates that he has achieved the first Common Skate Wildlife Order license for the project and therefore is one of only a small number of anglers allowed to tag common skate in Northern Ireland, with his records making up more than 75% of all skate records to date.
Ronald is a role model in the angling community, encouraging other anglers to handle sharks and skates according to best practice techniques. He has recruited anglers to join the tagging programme, increasing the number of sharks tagged and increasing good angling practice throughout the community. Ronald has gone above and beyond for the project, promoting the project on the BBC, filming training videos and attending workshops with government and academia to share his knowledge and encourage further protections for endangered species.
Emma Dawber, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Emma has been an invaluable member and asset to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Living Seas education work programme since 2016, and she has dedicated 1064 hours to volunteering. She has supported education in the Living Seas Centre, engaging thousands of children and assisting staff with operational duties so that it can be open 7 days a week. She has also hosted volunteer days at her home, delivered the Trust’s ‘Peering at Puffin’ events and supported the Trust at Countryfile Live.
Mandy Fall, Northumberland Wildlife Trust
Mandy joined the Coast Care project last year and has dedicated 54 volunteering hours to date across a range of roles and opportunities. Mandy’s patch is perfect for her as she regularly spots Bottlenose Dolphins and Porpoises, which is one of her greatest passions. She is a keen wildlife spotter and over lockdown has monitored three Oystercatchers and took the highs and lows of their nesting attempts over the summer. As visitor numbers increased to her patch, Mandy has been working hard to remove litter left behind, clearing over 400kgs of waste from the coastline. Mandy also volunteers as a Marine Medic for British Diver Marine Life Rescue and is a Beach Warden for the Marine Conservation Society.