Living seas - Marine Conservation

Protecting wildlife in and around the Irish sea

Underwater scene in the Irish Sea of Thongweed and Snakelocks © Paul Naylor

Living seas

Hidden beneath the surface are landscapes every bit as varied as those we see on land, with undersea cliffs, caves, valleys and mountains which are home to thousands of plants and animals from tiny anemones to the majestic basking shark. 

Our vision

Cumbria Wildlife Trust works in partnership with The Wildlife Trusts North West. Our Living Seas vision is that wildlife thrives, from the depths of the ocean to the coastal shallows. Our seas have a remarkable capacity to recover, but only if we give them the chance. The Wildlife Trusts North West has helped to secure the Marine and Coastal Access Act.

Saving wildlife and wild places

Our current marine conservation campaigns

We have a long history of campaigning for positive change for nature and people and inspiring local communities to save special places for wildlife.

Marine Protected Areas

How we help nature's recovery at sea

Decades of neglect have left our seas damaged and degraded, but it's not too late to save them. 

We are working to make sure special places at sea get the protection and management they need to thrive, campaigning for a network of Marine Protected Areas that will help revive our seas. 

  • Increase marine conservation awareness.
  • Protect the Irish Sea. We can help it recover through the designation of Marine Conservation Zones where wildlife can thrive.
  • Engage the people of the North West of England about marine conservation.

Every year we run events around the North West of England to give more people the chance to experience and enjoy our marine wildlife, inspiring people to take action for our amazing Irish sea.

For centuries our sea's riches have been taken for granted. Fragile habitats have been destroyed. Pollution, inappropriate fishing gear and the effects of climate change have had major detrimental impacts on our marine environment.

Did you know?

  • Basking shark numbers have dropped by 95%
  • The common skate is not so common, in fact it's on the brink of extinction!
  • Corals, seahorses, dolphins and seals have all been adversely affected.

What marine life lives in the Irish sea?

Discover what is in the Irish sea by watching our short video clip.