Seawilding – restoring native oysters and seagrass in Loch Craignish

Seawilding – restoring native oysters and seagrass in Loch Craignish

Three people sit on the edge of a loch in Scotland, with a boat in the background and the award in front of them
Danny Renton (left) and members of the Seawilding team with their National Lottery Award. Photo: John Young Media.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

Mid Argyll
Argyll and Bute
CROMACH
£216400
The UK’s first community-led native oyster and seagrass restoration project is aiming to restore lost biodiversity to the Scottish coastline.

Through its low-cost habitat restoration programme, Seawilding is empowering people to make a positive impact on marine ecosystems, creating green jobs and improving biodiversity in Loch Craignish, Argyll.

Danny Renton set up Seawilding in 2020 which was awarded a grant of £216,400 to work in partnership with Craignish Restoration of Marine and Coastal Habitats (CROMACH). He now leads a team of seven with support from 60 volunteers who have participated in his community training programme. 

Communities around the UK realise that they can get involved, can do something active to restore marine ecosystems.

Danny Renton, founder of Seawilding 

Over five years, the project aims to restore up to 1 million native oysters to create a self-sustaining population. There may be the potential for a community fishery in the future.

Native oysters filter and clean water, store and remove carbon and create reefs that act as shelter and nurseries for fish.

The team is also replenishing the seabed and have already harvested and replanted hundreds of thousands of seagrass seeds. Seagrass meadows filter pollution, so they are important to tackling and reversing the effects of climate change. They also provide a vital food source and habitat to marine species.

Award-winning project inspiring others

Danny says the goal is to help other coastal communities do the same work.

His achievements in running a community-led programme have inspired others to deliver their own marine restoration projects. Danny's outstanding efforts were recognised with the National Lottery Award for best environment project in 2023.

He says: “Communities around the UK realise that they can get involved, can do something active to restore marine ecosystems. And I think we're never going to stop that now, it's off and it's away. Thank you to the National Lottery for getting it going.” 

Follow the progress of the Seawilding project

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