A project working to boost the recovery of the sea and coastal wildlife of Cumbria has received plaudits as it reached its conclusion.

My Local Catch, a three-year initiative spearheaded by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, came to an end in February but the trust has said it will continue championing marine wildlife and sustainable seafood.

It involved 127 seafood-themed activities, from snorkeling to seaweed foraging, and food festivals to farmers markets.


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These activities aimed to raise awareness of sustainable fishing and celebrate Cumbria's marine life.

Over 7,000 members of the West Cumbrian community participated in the activities, with over 3,000 participating in coastal cook-ups with professional chefs.

Project officer for My Local Catch, Lou Mather, said: "It’s been an absolute honour to work on this fantastic project.

"I’m so proud of the results we’ve achieved and the connections we have built in West Cumbria, and I know the impact will continue for many years to come.

"Sustainable seafood is such an important issue in marine conservation - and it’s one where members of the community can have a real impact to help both local fishermen and local wildlife to thrive.

"I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help people understand more about this complex issue, and to get connected with their coastline and the amazing wildlife that lives there."

Helen Featherstone, director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, praised the project saying: "My Local Catch has been a wonderful project that has successfully connected local people with the fishing heritage on their doorstep, while raising awareness of the importance of local, sustainably sourced seafood."

The scheme has also promoted less damaging fishing methods, such as using creel pots to catch lobsters, langoustine, and crabs.

In addition, it conducted seabed surveys to gauge the recovery of an area off Walney since its designation as a Marine Conservation Zone in 2019.