A Pembrokeshire diver has won a prestigious prize in a UK-wide competition.

Kate Lock, from Marloes, is the winner of the 2021 National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Award for marine wildlife recording.

The awards recognise significant achievement and celebrate outstanding contributions to wildlife recording and data sharing, which is helping to improve understanding of the UK’s biodiversity.

Kate has been working to coordinate Seasearch activities, which enable recreational divers and snorkelers to collect and submit data, for 25 years.

Kate generates her own records as well as supporting less-experienced coordinators and volunteers.

Kate’s immense knowledge and experience of Pembrokeshire makes her the go-to person to liaise with other organisations, stakeholders and policy-makers in that area.

As an employee of Natural Resources Wales, her professional experience puts Kate in the position of 'having a foot in both camps' to maximise the impact of Seasearch through her job and her network of relationships. 

“I feel privileged to be able to see first-hand the amazing marine life found in UK waters,” said Kate.

“I have always wanted to know more about what I am seeing and put a name to the seaweeds and creatures that I find, so when introduced to Seasearch it was the perfect project to get involved.

“Diving in the UK can often be challenging but that is also part of the fun and attraction as you never know what you may find, it could be muddy sediments with fabulous burrowing anemones or rocks festooned in sponges and sea squirts or lush red seaweed meadows – no two dives will be the same.

“Being able to teach divers to complete surveys is fun, being able to build up a community of underwater recorders where everyone is so excited to share their photos and records, knowing that these records are letting us get to know our underwater world better, dive by dive, is fantastic.”

The winners and runners-up of the of the NBN awards were announced at an online ceremony today, November 24, which will be the culmination of the annual NBN Conference, also held online.