It is with regret that Wild Planet Trust announced in June 2020 that it would not be re-opening Living Coasts as a visitor attraction following its closure during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Wild Planet Trust would like to thank the many people who have visited and supported Living Coasts over the years, and the many businesses and grant-giving trusts which support their vital conservation work.
Living Coasts has been a hugely popular destination for school trips since it opened in 2003. Its unique setting has allowed us to bring marine conservation to life for more than 6,500 school visitors a year, inspiring them to discover more about life on our coastlines, and to get involved in its protection. We have always held conservation at the heart of our approach, and recent years have seen a concerted effort to involve our schools and communities in our work, to help us tackle the challenges that face our wildlife, and wild places, both here in Torbay, and around the world.
Conservation is fundamentally about people and the value that we all place on nature and the world around us. We hope that many of these initiatives may be continued in the future from our other sites. The issues we have attempted to tackle have not gone away, and the need to inspire and involve people from all walks of life with their solutions, has never been greater. Our reach has been global; from surveying Torbay’s very own seagrass meadows, to conserving penguins and other seabirds in the Falkland Islands and South Africa.
Annual beach cleans epitomise our belief that conservation begins at home, and we have been constantly overwhelmed by the efforts of local people and other organisations to support us in making these a success. Innovative approaches to addressing the scourge of plastic pollution have allowed us to motivate and empower our guests to get involved and become part of a solution. Our ‘Plastic Oceans’ schools workshop is just one of a growing number of sessions that bring sustainability to the fore, and highlight the importance of individual action. From sustainable fishing to climate change there are things we can all do that make a difference, and we believe that Living Coasts has played a vital role in bringing these issues to people’s attention.