Cornwall’s Marine Heritage Project

Children on a snorkel safari

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • Cornwall’s marine environment is better understood, and habitats and species can be better managed because more people have relevant knowledge and skills. By collecting data on marine seagrass beds, seabirds and marine mammals, and activities such as gill netting and illegal shellfish collecting, trained volunteers have provided evidence to support better protection for the marine environment.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • People developed new knowledge and skills, including 409 trained and registered volunteers who now form active groups in each VMCA. Many volunteers reported that the project had changed their lives and given them new focus and passion.
  • More people from local communities, and particularly young people and families, experienced and learned about Cornwall’s marine heritage through public and community events that attracted over 140,000 participants.
  • Through the creation of resources and training delivered during the final year of the project, teachers in the five VMCAs feel they now have the knowledge and confidence to take school groups to the seashore in future.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • A stronger sense of community involvement in local decision making has been developed through establishing fully constituted groups in the five VMCAs with a strong volunteering element at their core. These now form part of a Cornwall-wide support network for marine conservation and engagement.

Lessons learnt

  • Businesses must be involved from the outset to generate trust and support. Meetings and other activities must be scheduled in ways that make it easier for businesses to engage.
  • Paid support needs to be provided to sustain voluntary VMCA groups in the long term.
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