A new course for anyone who cares about the coast, enjoys rambling among rock pools or even fears fish stocks and marine life is under threat, will start this autumn. The next programme of the increasingly popular Our Coast course run by Coastwise North D

A new course for anyone who cares about the coast, enjoys rambling among rock pools or even fears fish stocks and marine life is under threat, will start this autumn.The next programme of the increasingly popular Our Coast course run by Coastwise North Devon begins at Barnstaple library on Thursday, October 9 and runs for 10 weeks.It works to help broaden knowledge and experience of the coast -from its wildlife to history and geology - while raising awareness of the issues facing it.Previous courses have generated a great deal of enthusiasm locally and now Coastwise has been formed to continue running it, as well as extend activities to include conservation monitoring and project work.Each programme is different and based on a mix of presentations by experts, talks, projects, and visits to the coast led by members of the group."If, like me, you have been excited by the BBC Marine Week coverage of the Cornwall coast, you may want to know what North Devon's coast has to offer - and the answer is a lot!" said Paula Ferris, Coastwise chairman."Come to Our Coast and find out. You can get as involved as you want, or not. I'm an unashamed rock-pooler, but enjoy hearing about the geology, the history and pleasures of the coast."We pool our interest, knowledge and enthusiasm. It's good fun and this time there is an important extra dimension."The course will be participating in the Living Seas project being run by the Devon Wildlife Trust."For our part we plan to find out from local people long familiar with the shore and seas, how the abundance of wildlife has changed, to help identify the conservation challenge," added Paula.The first session on October 9 will feature a talk by Richard White from the DWT and be followed by a beach visit on October 16.The programme will include the geology and wildlife of sea and shore, and a trip to Ilfracombe Aquarium. The fee is £30 for 10 sessions, and includes Coastwise membership. All are welcome. Those unable to attend the whole course can join as an associate member for £5 and take part in Coastwise activities on payment of the individual session fee.For more information, call Marjorie Heath on (01271) 831190, email mheath2025@aol.com or Paula Ferris on (01271) 812789, email p.s.ferris@btinternet.com[COASTWISE LEE]