On Saturday 3 September, the Kelp Forests off Plymouth were dedicated to Her Majesty as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) in a special ceremony to highlight the importance of kelp as an environmental treasure which fringes much of the UK’s coastline. Led by Lewis Pugh, QGC Ambassador and UN Patron of the Oceans, a wild swimming relay took place in the waters surrounding Plymouth Sound – the UK’s first National Marine Park – ahead of an unveiling ceremony overlooking the spectacular seafront.
Lewis Pugh (OMK 1978-80), QGC Ambassador and UN Patron of the Oceans, said:
“We are thrilled to dedicate The Kelp Forests off Plymouth to Her Majesty in honour of her Platinum Jubilee. Kelp is a hidden wonder – it’s magic is largely unseen. Kelp Forests are extremely important ecosystems which are vital to the health of our oceans. It is wonderful to see Plymouth’s environmental treasures recognised as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy.”
Home to the Royal Navy, Sailors and Royal Marines from HMNB Devonport started the relay by delivering a plaque to Lewis and a group of wild swimmers who swam it to shore.Amongst the wild swimmers who took part in the ceremony was Emma Birchell, Mount Kelly’s Head Matron of the Prep, who is an avid open water and wild swimmer. Emma and Lewis caught up after the ceremony for a quick photo opportunity (Emma in background, on Lewi’s right) and exchanged stories about the Prep (formerly Mount House where Lewis was a pupil).