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Seeding Change Together with Cornwall Wildlife Trust 

We're donating £150,000 over the next 3 years to restore carbon-capturing seagrass along our coastline.

We are pleased to announce the launch of an exciting three-year partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, supporting a new project – Seeding Change Together – which aims to help restore seagrass to our seas in Cornwall. 

We’ll be donating £50,000 a year for the next three years to support the team at Cornwall Wildlife Trust as they carry out planting trials on the site at the Fal-Ruan nature reserve, with a view to restoring and expanding the coverage of seagrass across Cornwall.

Our Chief Customer and Sustainability Officer, Adam Cotgreave, visited the Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserve at Fal-Ruan to chat to Matt Slater, who is leading the Cornwall Wildlife Trust team, about the project. 

Seagrass grows on sandy and muddy seabeds in sheltered bays and creeks. As it grows, it helps us with our battle against climate change by drawing carbon dioxide from the seawater, storing carbon in its roots and leaves and releasing oxygen for us to breathe. 

Seagrass is estimated to cover just 1% of the seafloor but is responsible for around 15% of the ocean’s total carbon capture. It stores carbon better than many other habitats and, in some cases, even better than rainforests.

In the UK we have lost an estimated 92% of our seagrass over the past 100 years, and 18% of the world’s seagrass has been lost in the last two decades. 

Here in Cornwall, there are two types of seagrass, the common seagrass (Zostera marina) which likes to be submerged and grows in shallow water, and the dwarf seagrass (Zostera noltei), which is happy to grow out of the water and can be found living on the shore, high up on muddy creeks.

In the 1930s, disease virtually wiped out dwarf seagrass in Cornwall. One of the few places that dwarf seagrass still grows is in the Fal Estuary, on Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Fal-Ruan nature reserve. 

The project plans to expand the coverage on this site of dwarf seagrass by carrying out planting trials. Depending on how successful they are, the aim will be to attempt to establish dwarf seagrass in other creeks where it has been lost. There’s lots of work to do, and the team at Cornwall Wildlife Trust are excited to get started.

To find out more about seagrass and our Seeding Change Together restoration project, visit cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/seagrass

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