If you know us, then you know that at THE PIG’s we love nothing more than shouting about the amazing work our local suppliers and friends do for the environment and community. So, when National Marine Week rolls around each year, a dedicated day to celebrate the wonderful wildlife found in the seas around the UK and the communities that protect the habitats we can’t see without a snorkel, we love to get behind it. We’re ‘shore’ you can agree with us that the ecosystems below waters are just as important as the ones above.
Join us over the coming week as we celebrate the work that our friends at The National Lobster Hatchery and Surfers Against Sewage in Cornwall, and our friends at The Studland Bay Marine Partnership in Dorset do. You may have heard us talk about these unsung heroes before, but we owe so much to them for their hard work protecting the marine life that surrounds the patches we call home - especially as the sea is right on the doorstep of a few of THE PIG’s!
Whether you’re near the sandy beaches of Cornwall, the rocky Jurassic coastline of Dorset, or even just the comfort of your own home, read on to find out more about the amazing work these guys do for marine conservation - there are even some ‘FIN-tastic’ events taking place that you can get involved with during National Marine Week!
Replenishing the lobster population with The National Lobster Hatchery
The National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) has been long friends of ours down at THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall. They are a small but mighty marine conservation research and education charity, located just a few miles down the road from THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay in Padstow. The NLH aim is all about conserving native lobster populations by helping to ensure the long term future of the vulnerable marine species. Their work means they can replenish the waters to continue to support the ecosystem and our seafood industry.
The NLH work is key to the happenings of The Lobster Shed at THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay, so for every lobster we sell, we donate £1 to the NLH’s Buy One – Set One Free campaign. Thanks to our diners in 2022, the NLH released an additional 2,130 baby lobsters (adding to their total of 20,000!) into the Cornish waters, funded by these donations!
What’s going down for National Marine Week
During National Marine Week (and the months that follow) The National Lobster Hatchery have some great events going on at their visitor centre for you to come down and see what they do.
The Lobster Lab: 22nd July – 31st August 2023
Experience science first hand in their Lobster Lab, where there will be interactive activities for all ages, educational games, and a chance to put your knowledge to the test. Included in all existing and entry tickets.
Meet The Expert: 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st July and 1st and 3rd August
Get a sneak peek behind the scenes with one of The National Lobster Hatchery Technicians, to see first hand what they do, why they do it, and how they do it… you’ll even get the chance to see some baby lobbys!
Sea Quest and Sea Watch: 29th July
Head over to Trevose Hotel with the team at The National Lobster Hatchery for some dolphin and whale watching.
Come down to the visitor centre: Open 7 days a week, 9-5pm
If you just fancy going along to The National Lobster Hatchery’s visitor centre to see what they do and learn more about lobsters, you can get 20% admission tickets as a friend of THE PIG! Just use the code PIG2023 when booking tickets on their website prior to your visit here.
Protecting the Cornish waters from pollution with Surfers Against Sewage
With THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay being surrounded by stretches of breathtaking Cornish coast, it’s important to us to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect our sandy shores (both above water and below) from pollution – nobody wants to take a relaxing walk along a beach littered with rubbish!
The sea surrounding Cornwall is home to an abundance of marine life; from seaweed, sponges, corals, jewel anemones, crabs, lobsters, clams, and mussels that cover the rocky shorelines and sandy floor, to dolphins, seals, basking sharks, leatherback turtles, and even the occasional humpback whale can be spotted swimming throughout the open waters. Protecting this environment and supporting organisations that work closely to a thriving and biodiverse marine environment is something that everyone should get behind.
So, this year, our PIG People down in Cornwall have chosen Surfers Against Sewage as their charity of the year, to support, volunteer, and donate to the amazing work this charity does for our patch and beyond.
In line with National Marine Week, there is no better time than now to shout out about our friends at Surfers Against Sewage and share with you how you can get involved in keeping our beaches clean, and in turn, protect our oceans and life below water from pollution.
So, who are Surfers Against Sewage?
Surfers Against Sewage started 30 years ago; a group of water lovers fighting to clean up the sea to keep us safe. As their efforts continued, they started getting wiser about the full scope of pollution, waste, destruction, and rising temperatures damaging the ocean that so many of us love and rely on.
They realised it wasn’t just people suffering from ocean pollution, it was the planet as well. For people to thrive and live life to the fullest, the ocean must thrive too. Surfers Against Sewage started rising up on more issues, like plastic, ocean recovery, the climate emergency, and water quality, by bringing together more people and using their collective power to drive change.
Now, by building and connecting communities motivated to make a difference, they gather the evidence and give voice to these issues that hold leaders to account. From the beachfront to the frontbench, pavements to the hilltops, they’re creating inspired, motivated Ocean Activists everywhere, each one is committed to the exact same thing… protecting the ocean and all it makes possible!
How you can get involved…
Back in June, some of our PIG People from THE PIG-at Harlyn Bay went down to Harlyn Bay beach, to care for our coasts and spend the morning beach cleaning.
This was part of the Surfers Against Sewage Million Mile Clean initiative. The Million Mile Clean is a chance to get together and feel the benefits of community spirit, being outdoors and making a difference. It is the biggest initiative of its kind in the UK, bringing people together to tackle the challenges of plastic pollution.
Did you know, you can look for a beach clean near you? To find out more, head over to the Surfers Against Sewage website here.
Protecting Britain’s native seahorses with The Studland Bay Marine Partnership
If you’ve adventured over to THE PIG-on the beach (our patch in Studland Bay, Dorset) you will have seen the picturesque views of Old Harry Rocks and the unspoilt Jurassic coastline that our gothic honey-coloured house looks out to. What you might not have known is that below the water’s surface, you will find stretches of seagrass meadows that provide a vital breeding ground for one of Britain’s native protected species: the spiny seahorses.
Seagrass can store up to twice as much carbon per acre as terrestrial forests, making seabed environments comparable to rainforests in terms of their ecological value in removing carbon from the atmosphere. One of the many existential threats to seagrass – and seahorses – is the destructive design of traditional anchor moorings. The heavy metal chains of anchor systems often drag along the seabed, pulling up the fragile seagrass roots hidden beneath the water, destroying the seahorse's habitat.
So, who’s looking out for the little guys?
To protect Studland’s rare seagrass beds some serious action was needed… enter our friends from The Studland Bay Marine Partnership! Formed in 2021 by a group of locals, they decided to work together to begin fundraising for their game-changing eco-mooring projects.
So far, the group has raised £66,000 through a mixture of crowdfunding supported by The Seahorse Trust and generous donations from the National Trust, The Crown Estate and THE PIG-on the beach. This money will enable the installation of 22 eco-moorings, which is part of a phased approach with an overall target to install up to 87 across the bay area.
To find out more about The Studland Bay Marine Partnership click here.