Funding given for Topsham seahorse charity

PUBLISHED: 11:31 10 June 2016 | UPDATED: 11:31 10 June 2016

Archant

The founder of a Topsham charity set up to protect endangered aquatic life has expressed his delight after being awarded a grant.

The Seahorse Trust has received £20,000 in funding from the Postcode Lottery.

Founder Neil Garrick-Maidment, 57, of Greatwood Terrace, can now begin putting a conservation course together to help teach people how to identify seahorses correctly.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when it came through.

“I hope the impact of the course on seahorse conservation will be huge and that it can standardise the way we teach it worldwide.”

Neil started work on writing the course on Monday and is aiming to begin teaching this autumn.

The three-day course will be classroom-based with a practical final examination in the water.

Neil is aiming to teach people how to correctly identify and report seahorse sightings without disturbing them or their habitat.

He said: “It’s going to take about four months to write the whole course. As long as the weather in the autumn is kind to us, we should be able to start.

“We will be teaching people how to survey animals without disturbing them - the animals’ welfare should be first and foremost.”

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