Mount Carmel welcomed Ally Ashworth to our school to speak to pupils about her recent involvement with the exciting Darwin 200 project.
Ally who is currently studying Environmental Science at Lancaster University was selected to be involved in the project sponsored by Roots & Shoots and The Don Hanson Charity during the summer of 2023.
The Darwin 200 projects aim to engage worldwide audiences and advance global conservation. They are retracing Charles Darwin's global voyage aboard the tall ship Oosterschelde. The project is conducting research, tackling many of the world's most critical environmental problems and developing practical solutions e.g. microplastic sampling, temperature data and wildlife surveys.
Ally was one of 200 Darwin leaders aged between 18 -25 who came from 200 different countries/states. At each of the stops along the route a small group of leaders were given their own project to work on.
Their project objectives were to select an animal or plant that Charles Darwin studies and investigate what has happened to the population over the last two centuries. The project leaders also looked at current conservation work and the effectiveness of the initiatives. The team then looked at what more can be doneto make the future better for the species by undertaking research and developing new ideas and strategies.
Ally and her team were based at the 2nd stop along the route, on the island of Sao Vincente and worked with the local NGO Biosfera on the conservation of sea turtles in the waters of Cape Verde. Their project was to produce a database for green turtles using photo identification. The team also studied the ecology and dynamics of the green turtle population in the area with particular attention to the impacts of artificial feeding on their diet.
Ally showed lots of photographs and video clips of her experience and encouraged pupils to say yes to opportunities that come their way. She also explained there are many ways to help the planet and that everyone can make a change that really matters.