LIFE is 30

21 May 2022  /  By Lydia Tivenan, Communications Officer

Happy Birthday LIFE is thirty! On the 21st May the LIFE programme turned 30 years old and as a member of the LIFE family we wanted to take this opportunity to take a look down memory lane and shine a light on the what the LIFE programme has achieved over the past 30 years.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding tool for the environment and climate action, and we are one of over 5,500 projects co-funded by LIFE over the past 30 years. Over £5.5 billion has been spent protecting Europe’s threatened species and habitats using practical conservation measures. These projects have safeguarded some 5400 habitats and 750 species. The LIFE program has also purchased around 200 000 hectares of land across the EU which ensured that this land is protected indefinitely.

Our LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project is a £2.5million, four-year marine conservation partnership project focused on Saving Our Seabed at five Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in the Southern England. The partnership is made up of five partners, led by Natural England and working in partnership with Ocean Conservation Trust, Marine Conservation Society, Royal Yachting Association and Plymouth City Council/ Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum.

The ReMEDIES project is England’s largest seagrass restoration effort with our partners the Ocean Conservation Trust co-ordinating the planting of a total of eight hectares of seagrass meadows along England’s south coast, four hectares in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park and four hectares in the Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation.   Alongside our seagrass planting efforts, we are installing and trialling Advanced Mooring Systems (AMS) within the five SACs that the project focuses on. These AMS are a practical way to reduce seabed damage that can occur from the anchoring and mooring of recreational boats.

To celebrate the LIFE programme turning thirty we teamed up with our project partners at the Ocean Conservation Trust to run a boat trip around the Plymouth Sound Area of Conservation with key project stakeholders, volunteers and students from the hone education community.  This trip gave participants the chance to experience the restoration sites up close and plant some seagrass seeds first hand.

None of the activities mentioned in this blog would have been possible without the funding from the EU LIFE Programme and so we would like to wish the life program the HAPPIEST 30th BIRTHDAY!