Marine Conservation Groups

Marine Conservation Groups

The Your Shore Network of Local Marine Conservation Groups

Cornwall has a thriving network of local marine conservation volunteer groups who promote and protect the marine environment in their local patch. Together this network is a powerful voice for our marine environment.

The coastal and marine environment of Cornwall is recognised as being of both international and local importance for its incredible diversity of marine wildlife, from tiny rare colourful corals to giant basking sharks.

The county’s natural beauty attracts over 5.5 million tourists each year and the coast is a popular destination both for visitors and residents. Additionally our fishing  and maritime industries which are vital to Cornwall’s economy and culture depend on a healthy and productive marine ecosystem. 

Healthy seas are essential for the county’s economic, social and environmental future. However, the marine environment is vulnerable and finely balanced. It is important that we maintain this balance by encouraging sensible and sustainable use of our marine environment, which we are able to do through the fantastic work of the highly motivated volunteers of this, the‘Your Shore Network’.

The Your Shore Network provides support to volunteer groups in the south west of England who care for the marine environment. Each group is different and they are all run by dedicated volunteers. Despite this natural variety the groups are all unified in having similar aims, to:

• Protect and conserve the marine environment.
• Raise awareness and increase understanding of the marine environment.
• Encourage education and research within the marine environment.

Originally the network consisted of five Cornish volunteer groups at each of our Voluntary Marine Conservation Areas who were supported and developed by Cornwall Wildlife Trust through the Heritage Lottery funded Your Shore Project. The Your Shore project was hugely successful and now we are lucky in Cornwall because many new local marine groups have independently and organically sprung up around the county, often with the help of social media. This collective of passionate and motivated individuals are vitally important as a voice for Cornwall’s marine environment and Cornwall Wildlife Trust is committed to continuing to support these amazing people. Each year we hold an inspirational ‘Your Shore’ Conference bringing together the volunteers to share ideas, news and to be inspired. Please get involved and join your local marine conservation group!

Just some of the many acheivements of the Your Shore Network 

  • Working together to highlight and campaign against PIB pollution which resulted in huge numbers of bird deaths along Cornwall's south east coastline.
  • Campaigning for and helping acheive a network of Marine Conservation Zones around Cornwall's coast.
  • Engaging with thousands of people, through events and activities, educating and inspiring them to care for the marine environment.
  • Cleaning beaches and estuaries and campaigning against marine plastic pollution. 
  • Carrying out citizen science surveys and improving our understanding of the marine and coastal environment.
  • Working with schools and colleges to raise the profile of the marine environment amongst local communities and young people.
  • Highlighting sustainable fishing practices in Cornwall in association with Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.