Ale drinkers support Northumberland’s marine wildlife

Corrine Gordon, BDMLR Scottish Community fund-raising coordinator; Sean Donkin, Inn Collection Group operations manager; Andrew Smith, BDMLR marine mammal medic; and Peter O'Brien.

Corrine Gordon, BDMLR Scottish Community fund-raising coordinator; Sean Donkin, Inn Collection Group operations manager; Andrew Smith, BDMLR marine mammal medic; and Peter O'Brien.

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Real-ale drinkers at a north Northumberland pub have helped to raise more than £1,250 to rescue and support marine mammals in difficulties in the North Sea.

The Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses selected the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) as its chosen charity for 2014. Each time a pint of Hadrian & Border Farne Island – the Inn’s house real ale – was sold in the bar last year, the Inn donated 5p in aid of the charity’s work with sick and stranded porpoises, dolphins, whales and seals.

The Bamburgh Castle Inn general manager, Peter O Brien, presented the cheque to Corinne Gordon from the BDMLR, which will put the money towards essential rescue equipment including a marine mammal medic kit, dolphin stretcher and seal kennel.

Peter said: “We were delighted to raise so much towards the BDMLR’s work, which plays an important role in saving and caring for our marine mammals.

“We selected the charity for support last year because it makes a real difference locally. The BDMLR’s volunteers are on call around the clock to respond to reports of sick or injured marine mammals washed up on our beaches, and it’s a service that is absolutely essential here in Seahouses because of the huge grey-seal population on the Farne Islands.

“Thousands of visitors take boat trips or dive off the islands every year and many of these have helped towards the preservation of the seal colony by supping a pint at the Inn. It’s great to know that our customers have helped the charity to buy and replace the equipment it depends on to carry out its sterling work.”

The BDMLR relies entirely on the generosity of the public to fund its work and on the dedication of its volunteers, who work along the English, Scottish and Welsh coastlines. Money raised by the charity also goes towards training volunteers in the essential skills they need to deal with marine mammals in distress. The charity assists the coastguard, police and animal-welfare groups in addition to responding to calls from the public.

BDMLR area coordinator Richard Ilderton said: “This donation will be used for vital equipment including a marine mammal medic kit, dolphin stretcher, seal kennel and bag to help sick and stranded porpoises, dolphins, whales and seals. My utmost thanks go to the Bamburgh Castle Inn and all our marine mammal medics in this area who do a fantastic job in one of the busiest areas. Well done all.”