15 August 2010

Guides of Singapore shores: Finale in the field

Yesterday, we had the finale of the Guides of Singapore shores workshops - a field trip to Berlayar Creek.
Berlayar Creek lies just next to Labrador Park (the greenery in the photo above). It seems the perfect place for a small group to try out what we have learnt during the last five weeks of workshops!

This small shore lies just across from Sentosa's natural cliffs and shores. There are sandy shores, patches of seagrasses and even mangroves on Berlayar.
Ian shares an obviously interesting story about the mangroves.
There's also a stretch of natural rocky shores, with all kinds of interesting animals for those who take a closer look.
It's a bit tricky getting down to the shore. So we take it slowly. Earlier on, we had marked out the death zone so that we can minimise the damage to the shore on our trip.
It's OK to refer to a guidebook if we come across an unfamiliar plant or animal.
The shore had plenty of Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni)! I also saw one anemone that looks like a Striped sand anemone. There were also many Striped hermit crabs (Clibanarius sp.) and Zee found a sand dollar (Arachnoides placenta)!
My special finds of the day were dead. I found a part of a large giant clam shell that looks like it was a Hippopus hippopus, which we have so far not seen alive on our shores yet. While Zee found a small sell of a Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa). Mei Lin is studying even dead shells in her work on our Giant clams. Read more about this on her blog.
How nice to bump into Karenne and Beverly on the shore! They were here with some teachers from NIE who are keen to learn more about how to conduct field work for their students. How wonderful!
Soon this shore will be affected by work to build a new boardwalk at Berlayar.

As the tide turned and we headed back, everyone lent a hand in picking up fish traps, driftnets, plastic bags and other killer litter found on this shore.
Further away, Sean the Elder and Andy, shortly joined by other gentlemanly participants, hauled out a huge drift net!
We brought all the trash up to the high shore. There's even a broken chair!
Alas, the shores at Berlayar are often strewn with golf balls that escape from the nearby Keppel Golf Club.
Here's the big bag of golf balls I picked up from the shore. Others also picked up more balls!
Before we end our shore strip, we make full use of the gardens around the shore which are well planted with all kinds of native plants. These allow us to practice some stories about these colourful and fascinating plants.
All too soon, it was time to wrap up the field trip, and the entire workshop series! As usual, I forgot to take a proper group photo. Sigh.
Afterwards, over breakfast, the facilitators gathered around to discuss a repeat of the workshops next year!

Look out for details in the Leafmonkey Workshop!

The "Guides of Singapore Shores Workshop" is a collaboration among the Blue Water Volunteers, The Leafmonkey Workshop and wildsingapore with Supporting Partner, The Singapore Scout Association.

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