A VOYAGE is to showcase an incredible sight across Southampton’s waters today as part of a British ocean health check.

The Pelican of London ship is due to travel through the city for its first port of call, as part of planet conservation group Darwin200's journey across the UK to observe the health of the country’s surrounding waters.

The British-led project by Darwin200 marks the start of a mission to create 200 global conservation leaders.

Specialist environmental scientists will be onboard to mentor a group of young scientists through problem-solving.

Stewart McPherson, Darwin200 project leader, said: “In preparation of the Darwin200 global voyage, we’re embarking on a UK-wide initiative that brings along ten new scientists to carry out a detailed science programme throughout the 59-day project.

“We’re planning on a host of activities such as live lectures, citizen science project updates, and we’ll be publishing findings from the science programme on a daily basis, where we hope to engage tens of thousands of young people across the UK to look at the health of the UK waters and better understand marine conservation.”

The voyage first set sail from Folkestone on August 5 and in a clockwise circum-navigation of the British Isles, will call in at Southampton, Plymouth, Cardiff, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Hebrides, St Kilda, Orkney, Shetland, Edinburgh and London, where the journey ends at Tower Bridge.

It will be moored in London for a week where live lectures will be broadcast off the ship.

Darwin200 has partnered with the University of Plymouth to lead the science programme onboard the UK voyage, which has been designed by doctors Charlotte Braungardt and Richard Sandford from the University’s School of Geography, Earth and Environment Science.

Its aim is to develop a solid understanding of the marine environment through observations and experiments that explore the structure and chemical composition of the ocean, its ecology and life-sustaining functions for the planet.

Dr Braungardt said: “We’re extremely pleased to be involved in this project and mentoring the onboard scientists where we will encourage them to investigate the human impact on this awe-inspiring environment and discuss ways to address it on all levels, from individual behaviour to high-tech and global governance solutions.”

The Darwin200 team are calling on anyone who would like to get involved in the global voyage, be that a young scientist, a mentor, sponsor or part of the sailing crew.

The Pelican of London ship will be seen in Southampton at around 3pm today.