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Thursday, 30 October 2014

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Barrow and Grange venues for summer street gallery exhibition

HUNDREDS of images of the UK’s wildlife and nature are set to visit Barrow this summer.

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The 2020VISION roadshow will visit the town in July as part of the Morecambe Bay Partnership’s ongoing project to bring tourists to the area.

The exhibition will turn the space behind Barrow Town Hall into a street gallery telling the story of why nature and wild places matter to each and every one of us.

The images, part of the wider 2020VISION collection, were captured over 20 long months in the field by 20 of the top UK nature photographers, including Andy Rouse, Peter Cairns and European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Alex Mustard. It will be accompanied by two theatre shows and a photography workshop with one of the participating photographers, Ben Hall.

Brought to the Bay by the Morecambe Bay Partnership, this outdoor exhibition will kick off at the Arena on Morecambe seafront from 20 May until 29 June, before moving on to Barrow from July 1 to August 2 before visiting Grange from August 5 to 29.

Susannah Bleakley of Morecambe Bay Partnership said: “2020 VISION has visited London's South Bank, Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, Brighton Promenade and now it's coming to the Bay.

“It's a world-class event and we are delighted to be bringing it to the North West for the first time. Not only will it be a wonderful experience for locals, but it will undoubtedly bring hundreds of new visitors to the Bay, helping to boost the local economy.”

The project is part of Morecambe Bay Partnership's 700 Days Scheme which, with £500,000 from the Coastal Communities Fund, will support over 260 tourism-related jobs and safeguard many thousands more.

As well as bringing the 2020VISION Roadshow to Morecambe Bay, the funding will be used to connect and sign a 200Km ‘Bay Cycle Way’, develop maps, trails and apps to improve information for visitors and provide over 300 training places to support tourism businesses.

Further funding has been provided through the Morecambe Bay Local Nature Partnership's Nature Improvement Area, a project led by the Arnside & Silverdale AONB, which aims to improve and connect up the area’s special wetland, limestone grassland and woodland habitats, as well as supporting wildlife tourism.

Morecambe Bay was selected for inclusion in the 2020VISION project because the area is a hotspot for biodiversity. Happily, many recognise this and are working together through the Morecambe Bay Local Nature Partnership to ensure habitats are restored and connected. Doing this makes our ecosystem – our home – resilient in the face of growing pressures including climate change. Work is taking place around the Bay including Walney’s Dunes of Barrow project and through Headlands to Headspace.

The 2020VISION Roadshow, which includes a lecture theatre show, will tour the UK until 2015, communicating to millions that healthy ecosystems are not just good for wildlife, but are something we all depend upon.

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