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barge Solent 18 March 2022

England’s largest ever seagrass planting hits new milestone

£2.5m project led by Natural England has now planted seagrass across a total of 3.5 hectares of seabed. Seagrass can be as effective at storing carbon as our woodlands but UK has lost around half of its seagrass since the mid-1930s. Project partners to share expertise with marine conservation projects taking place around Europe to…

Restoration barge. Credit Jay Stone

10,000 bags of seagrass seeds to be planted at Plymouth Sound

Volunteers are busy packing 10,000 bags of seagrass seeds for planting underwater in Plymouth Sound. Research shows at least 44 per cent of the UK’s seagrass has been lost since 19361. This restoration work is part of England’s largest seagrass planting effort under the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES partnership, led by Natural England. The partnership’s restoration…

Ocean Image Bank/Michiel Vos

Plymouth’s underwater success story for COP26

Planting grass on the seabed in Plymouth is one of the UK’s green success stories being shared at COP26 in Glasgow. The ambition to take seagrass seeds from healthy underwater meadows, cultivate them in the laboratory and then plant a total of eight hectares sounds like science fiction. But already one hectare – the equivalent…

Solent seagrass/Project Baseline UK

Seeds collected for Solent seagrass restoration

Scuba divers have collected more than half a million seeds from healthy seagrass meadows around Osborne Bay, Yarmouth and Bouldnor in the Solent for replanting in parts of the Solent where seagrass has been lost or degraded. More seed collection dives will take place in Looe and Falmouth in Cornwall this month. It is part…

Restoration team - credit Ocean Conservation Trust

England’s largest seagrass planting programme underway

Today (21 April 2021), work on England’s largest seagrass planting effort is taking place in Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. It is estimated that the UK may have lost up to 92 per cent of its seagrass1. Factors including wasting disease, pollution and physical disturbance have been identified as contributing causes.  Seagrass meadows provide homes…

Yarmouth 2018 Zostera marina in foreground credit Tim Ferrero/Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Yarmouth is pioneering marine project’s new moorings

Two types of environmentally friendly moorings, known as Advanced Mooring Systems (AMS), have been installed in the Solent, near Yarmouth Harbour on the Isle of Wight. They are part of a trial being carried out by the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project, a marine conservation project to protect and restore the seabed at five areas along…

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Ocean Image Bank/Liam McGuire

Seagrass species spotlight: green sea turtle

Green Turtles are not named based on their external shell colour which is usually a dappled brown shade. They are called green turtles because their fat under their skin is green from the large quantities of plant matter that they consume. 

Solent_18 March 2022

One week in the Solent

Spring finally felt like it had sprung last week as myself and a number of the ReMEDIES partnership headed down to Hampshire to plant the first of four hectares of seagrass in the Solent Restoration site.

Seedling: Ocean Conservation Trust.

Spring seagrass planting is underway

Our wonderful volunteers are back in action packing seagrass seed bags for our springtime planting effort.

Spiny seahorse

Seagrass species spotlight: Seahorse

Seahorses are a mainstay of the seagrass meadow community. But their declining numbers are one of the reasons habitat restoration projects like ReMEDIES are so important. As you probably guessed, seahorses are not actually horses, they are bony fish. Despite not having the traditional shape of fish, they breathe through gills and have a swim…

Pipefish. Ocean Image Bank/Ben Jones

Seagrass species spotlight: Pipefish

Broadnose pipefish are a close relative of seahorses and they love to live in seagrass meadows. They use the long leaves to camouflage their elongated bodies. 

Future Meadows AR artwork

Future Meadows: interactive seagrass artwork

Since July 2021 Future Meadows has been developing an immersive artwork that celebrates seagrass, using sculpture, light, and augmented reality.

North Solent NNR

Spring into action for seagrass

Snowdrops are emerging at our re-wilding site on Wembury recreation ground where we partnered Parklife Southwest last Autumn. It reminds us that spring is on its way – an exciting time of renewal and growth. In our seagrass lab at the National Marine Aquarium, our seedlings are growing well. Growth is also happening on our…

seed bags_Lindsey Hollingsworth

England’s largest seagrass planting effort needs you!

It has been an interesting few weeks in the lab. Four tables are now packed with hessian pillows, sand, and seagrass shoots. There have been some tricky moments while we managed the different growth rates and stages. However, the germination rate has continued to average at 20 per cent survival, which is very encouraging. Now…

Squirt, cuttlefish at the NMA/Geffrey Back

Seagrass Species Spotlight: Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are a mainstay of the seagrass bed community and we can spot them all around the UK.

Wildflower seed bombing outreach in Wembury

The seabed and YOU

Our new Education Officer, Esther Farrant, based at Ocean Conservation Trust, talks us through some of the outreach and education highlights from her first few months…  ReMEDIES outreach events and education programme have really been ramping up recently. Several primary schools in Plymouth have now been involved in a seed planting workshop and are keen…

Seagrass seeds/Ocean Conservation Trust

Life in the lab

Our new seagrass cultivation officer, Amelia Newman based at Ocean Conservation Trust, has just finished preparing the seagrass lab at the National Marine Aquarium ready for the next stage of our restoration work…  It’s a busy time in the lab as we care for more than 3 million seagrass seeds that will be used in…

Zostera noltii/Jo Sinclair

Protecting the Essex Estuaries

We partnered Essex Wildlife Trust and trained a team of volunteers to conduct recreational activity observations along the Essex coastline over the summer. Alan Kavanagh, Natural England’s Essex Site Lead, and volunteer Cameron Alston, explain how and why we did it… Why Essex Estuaries? With 350 miles of varied coastline, Essex provides unique opportunities to…