8 August 2012
The sailing events are taking place against the backdrop of the Jurassic Coast.
Natural England has worked alongside the London 2012 delivery bodies on the development of the new marina and on venue management planning, with the aim of protecting and enhancing the marine environment below the waves of Weymouth Bay. We’ve also been hard at work to bring you closer to the natural wonders around the Bay so that you can find out more about the jewels beneath the waves.
Installed along the new Coastal Access path around Weymouth and Portland, the site of the largest Olympic venue outside London, smart phone barcode technology allows visitors and residents unprecedented access to newly-mapped information about life under the waves. The Quick Response (QR) barcodes use data from a three-year undersea mapping project carried out by Dorset Wildlife Trust, which took place in the run up to the Games to help safeguard the local marine environment. This is the latest in a series of natural environment legacy projects inspired by London 2012 . At six locations around Weymouth Bay, QR barcodes have been attached to fingerposts and information displays. For example, at Furzy Cliff users can find out about Weymouth carpet coral and see video footage of seahorses in their eel grass habitat.
The information that the QR barcodes link to has also been used to create a beautiful new information display and artists’ impressions at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. This includes a QR barcode too, so that competitors can better understand life beneath the ways. If you can’t get to Weymouth, you can find out about spider crab migration, seahorse habitat and Portland harbour’s inhabitants by downloading our undersea map: (929kb) and panorama: (1.26mb).
Our interpretation was recently given Ministerial seal of approval in separate visits from Defra Minister, Lord Taylor, and Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman. Lord Taylor said “It’s absolutely fantastic that now the secrets of the sea are available for all to discover. Weymouth and Portland has such a unique natural environment. This coastline is world famous and the new technology will mean that those looking out at the sea can also find out about they can’t see underneath it. This is a lasting heritage from the Games.”