Last week we saw how Scilly’s fresh clean air encourages the growth of lichen, (and no doubt is beneficial to the human population too.)
But is it not just the air that is clean and unpolluted. The sea looks like this:
You can see the sea weed growing up from the bottom; fabulous for diving, to explore shipwrecks and watch marine animals. But why is the sea so clear?
The islands of the Scilly Isles are rather small. The largest island, St Mary’s is only 2½ square miles (6½ square kilometres) so when it comes to flowing rivers, this is about as large as you get:
Flowing rivers are usually loaded with sediment, which they dump into the sea, but in Scilly there is only ever a trickle flowing into the sea, so the sea water remains clear.
Scilly’s waters are not always so beautifully clean. The area is a shipwreck hotspot. The infamous Torrey Canyon oil tanker disaster of 1967 left the beaches covered in crude oil and littered with dead seabirds. While the container ship Cita (1997) brought all manner of finds to the local beaches including trainers, baby clothes and computer mice. Follow the links for more information about these events.
Last week we discovered the location of the 16 longest rivers in the British Isles. The indentations in the coastline can help us to locate the rivers and many sea areas close to the coast have their own names too.
Print out a blank outline map. You can use the one below.
The best way to learn where things are is to put them on a map, but if I just give you a completed map, that won’t help much, so grab a blank map and a pencil, find somebody for a bit of competition, and let’s see what you know already.
We are going to name the areas of sea on the map, starting with the names that cover large areas and then moving to smaller specific locations close to the coast.
Here are the large areas:
Now the small areas close to the coastline. You won’t have space to write the names in most cases so just use the numbers.
St George’s Channel
Strait of Dover
Sea of the Hebrides
Firth of Forth
When you are ready, scroll down past my pictures to find the answers. The picture captions may give you some clues!
And here are the answers. Why not add at least some of the sea areas to your rivers map from last week.