Family aiming to help protect sea turtles

A family are looking to help protect wildlife on the other side of the world.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 25 April, 2019, 19:24
Lynette Friend with her sons Rhys and Zak who are fundraising towards volunteering at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka.

Lynette Friend, her husband, and three sons are joining fellow volunteers at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Sri Lanka early next year.

Lynette and her sons Rhys and Zak, who will be aged ten and eight at the time, will be volunteering from January 26 to February 8, with her husband and youngest son joining when they can.

Rhys and Zak Friend preparing for their charity bike ride.

The family, from Seaton Delaval, are aiming to raise £2,500 to meet the direct project costs.

The project monitors sea turtle activity and protects the local nesting sites as turtles are at threat from human activity including egg poaching, beach front developments and harm as a consequence of being caught as bycatch.

Lynette said: “We will be involved with night time monitoring of nesting activity, maintenance of hatcheries, beach works and cleans, all of which are crucial to the success of the project.

“In addition, we will be sharing knowledge about the sea turtles with locals and tourists on site, which will educate people to better understand the species and how they perform important roles in our ecosystems.

“As a species which has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, we feel action now is needed to save them, most of which are endangered, from further decline or even loss.

“My two older sons in particular are at a very influential age and I feel their hands on experience with the project will be a real asset to their development.

“They are currently involved with the fundraising events we have planned and this is allowing them to see the extent of work that is involved with fundraising, plus the generosity of people within their community.

“Whilst away, the children will play an active role with all aspects of the project and inevitably develop knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the sea turtles, risks affecting them, project delivery and the local community, including experience of other cultures.”

As part of fundraising, the family has held a table top sale at Cullercoats Community Centre, with another one planned on June 1; will take part in a 25-mile sponsored bike ride along the coast in June; and on June 2 is holding a raft-building fundraiser on the river in Morpeth.

For more visit www.seaturtlefriends.com