St Abbs village prepares itself for influx of divers

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Bottlenose dolphins and a huge gannet colony are among the secrets of the Scottish coast revealed in a new BBC documentary.

The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) says a new BBC series, which features a spectacular night dive at St Abbs and brings the wonders and diversity of Britain’s seas to life, will inspire even more people in the country to try scuba diving.

The stunning four-part BBC2 series is entitled ‘Britain’s Secret Seas’. The second episode - which will air on Sunday, May 15, at 8pm - is called ‘The Wild North’ and follows a team of experts as they go on some incredible diving expeditions to explore Britain’s northern seas.

The team travels to the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth to visit one of the largest gannet colonies in the world and to St Andrews Bay in search of the bottlenose dolphin.

Presenter and BSAC diver, Paul Rose, takes part in a spectacular night dive at St Abbs to look for the amazing fluorescent sea creatures that reside there and later travels to Inverness to see the work of a wildlife unit responsible for investigating marine deaths.

A popular World War II wreck in the Sound of Mull is also explored by the diving team.

BSAC has more than 40 clubs throughout Scotland and with the show having a prime-time Sunday evening slot, they are preparing to welcome even more new divers, as well as trained divers who have never experienced diving in this country but are inspired to discover the secrets of the Scottish coast for themselves.

Meanwhile a new dive guide covering the coastal waters off St Abbs and Eyemouth has been produced by the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve.

Some divers may remember ‘The Grey Dive Guide’ which was first published in the 1980s by Carol Warman and the Berwickshire Divers club which at the time was considered to be an invaluable tool for exploring the marine reserve.

Its successor, ‘A Guide to Diving the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve’ captures the information contained within the Grey Dive Guide and updates it for modern usage.

The guide is also illustrated with stunning photographs of local marine life and scenery which were donated by a number of talented underwater photographers.

The new dive guide is a 32 page A5 booklet printed in full colour throughout. It describes 18 dives within the marine reserve and has maps of all the locations. In addition the guide contains useful information about the local area including background information about the Voluntary Marine Reserve; a description of the habitats and marine life divers might expect to encounter in the coastal waters off St Abbs and Eyemouth; details on how divers can help protect marine life and get involved in the work of the Voluntary Marine Reserve and practical information such as what local diving services are on offer and useful websites to help you plan your trip.

The newly released guide contains a large amount of information in a compact size: it will fit into most divers’ log books making it the ideal companion for your next visit to the Voluntary Marine Reserve, whether you’re just visiting for the day or planning a longer trip.

The guide is on sale for £7 directly from the marine ranger or local establishments.

To order your copy by post please send a cheque for £7 (+ £1.50 postage and packaging) made payable to ‘St Abbs and Eyemouth VMR’ to The Marine Ranger, Rangers Office, Northfield, St Abbs, TD14 5QF.