EU LIFE awarded Natural England a grant of £1.5 million in October 2019 for ‘reducing and mitigating erosion and disturbance impacts affecting the seabed (ReMEDIES)’ in England.
LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project aims to:
improve the condition of at-risk seagrass and maerl bed habitats in 5 project areas
reduce the negative impact of recreational boating activities, such as mooring and anchoring
share its successes with similar projects in Europe
The 5 project sites are Marine Protected Areas and Special Areas of Conservation. All 5 are popular with recreational boaters:
Fal and Helford
the Isles of Scilly
Plymouth Sound and Estuaries
You can search for these sites on the
Natural England designated sites database.
Natural England leads the project, working with:
Ocean Conservation Trust
Marine Conservation Society
Plymouth City Council
Royal Yachting Association
other organisations including the harbour authorities in the 5 project areas
The project will:
work on practical ways to manage the habitat for rare protected species, such as seahorses, stalked jellyfish and seaweeds
be the first to collect seed and replant seagrass at this scale in England
raise awareness with the boating community and encourage better care of seabed habitats
provide solutions, such as advanced mooring systems to reduce harm to these seabed habitats
The project will evaluate its results and share successful methods with projects managing similar habitats under threat across Europe.
Seagrass is a flowering plant that forms a lush underwater meadow on the seabed. It’s a critically endangered EU red-listed habitat and a UK habitat of principal importance.
support a diverse ecosystem which provide food and shelter for fish and other animals, from tiny invertebrates to marine mammals and waterfowl
are spawning, nursery and refuge areas for fish, including commercially- important plaice
stabilise the sediment with their roots
absorb nutrients and clean the surrounding seawater
store carbon and help prevent climate change
Maerl is a purple-pink hard seaweed that forms a spiky underwater carpet. It’s found in Fal and Helford. Maerl beds:
provide shelter for bivalves (such as scallops), sea cucumbers, anemones and other small sea creatures
also store carbon
Life project number: LIFE18 NAT/UK/000039.