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Help us win the Great British Wildlife Restoration Award!

We have been nominated for the Great British Wildlife Restoration Award for our work saving vital seagrass habitats, but we need your help.

The Great British Wildlife Restoration Award recognises the work of zoo and aquarium-led conservation projects around Britain and Ireland. The winners of this award will be chosen by Britain’s Members of Parliament.

So we need you to write to your own local MP to encourage them to vote for our Saving Seagrass project. To make it quick and easy, we’ve created a template email for you to send to your local representative that introduces the award and why they should vote for our Saving Seagrass project.

Just follow the simple steps below to help us win this prestigious prize!

  1. Read the details below to learn about how we are helping to protect and restore seagrass beds in Torbay
  2. Find the contact details for your local MP. If you don’t know who yours is, you can find them, and their details, on the UK Parliament website 
  3. Click below to download a PDF of our template email
  4. You can either attach the PDF to your email, or you can copy the content from the email and add your own personalised message to your local MP
  5. You’re done! With one quick email, you’ve helped to raise awareness of the importance of seagrass, and the practical ways in which we are helping to protect it

An incredible habitat

We’ve teamed up with the Ocean Conservation Trust (the conservation charity behind the National Marine Aquarium) to help protect and restore seagrass in Torbay, Devon.

Seagrass is an incredible habitat, which not only provides a home for a vast range of species, but it also helps to protect our coastline from erosion and absorbs carbon 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.

However, around 96% of the UK’s seagrass was lost in the last century alone. Pressures such as anchoring, trawling, and poor water quality have all contributed to its decline.

Our work

By partnering with Ocean Conservation Trust, we are helping to prevent destruction and encourage seagrass meadows to flourish in Torbay.

At Wild Planet Trust, we are protecting the seagrass meadows in Torbay in a number of ways. We have a team of divers that carry out year-round surveys to assess the health and biodiversity of the seagrass beds and to help us implement change.

For example, our data showed us that anchoring in the popular location of Fishcombe Cove was causing damage to the seagrass by ripping up root systems. We therefore installed three eco-moorings that allow boaters to moor for free, while protecting the seagrass and giving it space to recover. Our surveys show that these moorings are being used 78% of the year, and have helped the number of seagrass plants to increase by around 50% since they were installed just 3 years ago.

Alongside our work, Ocean Conservation Trust has been growing seagrass in a purpose-built laboratory to restore lost plants in St Mary’s Bay in Torbay. This facility is the largest seagrass nursery in the UK, and enables the Ocean Conservation Trust team to research the most effective restoration techniques.

In addition, both of our organisations have been working to engage the community, which is a vital part of the project. We have helped people to learn about, and connect with, the issue of seagrass though a range of activities, including talks, focus groups, kayaking trips and stalls at local events.

This year, we also organised the first ever Seagrass Fest, which helped people to further engage with our work via talks, beach cleans and snorkelling trips. As well as giving people the opportunity to see seagrass first-hand, our engagement events are empowering the local community to take ownership of this incredible habitat and to help protect it.