Dartmouth-based explorer and broadcaster Monty Halls has been finding out about people’s innovative ways to help the marine environment, as part of his Generation Sea Change project.

His voyage, shortly to be broadcast in a series of eight films, revealed initiatives and projects created by people in Devon and Cornwall that are leading the UK, and in one particular case the world, in terms of proactive solutions to marine conservation issues.

Monty said: “It was extraordinary. We were inundated by groups and individuals who have created volunteer schemes or innovative technology. These are viable solutions to huge conservation problems, they really are, and are having tangible effects on issues such as sewage, microplastics and coastal degradation.”

He said many of the schemes have emerged due to frustration at what he called “official apathy and government incompetence” dealing with significant problems on South West stretches of coastline and marine ecosystems.

“It’s a revolution in a way, a conservation insurgency,” he added.

“This region has always had a close connection to the sea, and it seems people have just had enough. They’re taking ownership of local problems, and coming up with what might end up being global solutions.”

Projects covered include the largest rat eradication on earth on one the Isles of Scilly, allowing endangered ground nesting seabirds including puffins and shearwaters to return.

The series begins with the story of a micro filter created by a Bude surfer which will radically reduce microplastics entering the ocean. Other topics include the first river sampling scheme in the UK from source to sea, run by local people to provide alerts of sewage spills, and a tagging scheme to assess the population size of huge blue fin tuna that have appeared off our coasts.

Monty said: “The people of the South West are out in force, creating initiatives that can be used as templates not only around the UK, but internationally. It’s been a phenomenal experience to witness first hand, to catalogue through images and film, and to hear about their efforts to turn the tide. They really are leading the charge.”

The Generation Sea Change premier film is available to view at https://biturl.top/3eq6bq