This summer the team at Project Seagrass have been supporting our friends and #GenerationRestoration colleagues over at the Scottish marine restoration charity Seawilding to initiate Scotland’s first seagrass restoration project.

Seawilding is both an entity, and an idea that was born out of the hopes, aspirations and motivations of a community association called CROMACH. The CROMACH community is located in the Argyll Coast and Islands Hope Spot on the shores of Loch Craignish.

The Seawilding team are currently engaged in both Native Oyster and seagrass restoration projects, and both are centred around a community-led progressive approach to conservation. To them ‘Seawilding’ is about community action and stewardship, and the belief that we should all be working together to repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded seascapes. 

Their growing team are working with coastal communities across Scotland to restore degraded inshore marine habitats in a bid to enhance biodiversity, improve water quality and sequester carbon. The damage to these inshore marine habitats has been caused by activities such as scallop dredging, aquaculture, anchoring and pollution.

With scientific support from the
Scottish Association for Marine Science (one of the oldest oceanographic organisations in the world) and financial backing from NatureScot (Scotland’s Nature Agency), we are all working in collaboration to build community capacity around seagrass restoration techniques. We believe it’s important to share and develop a ‘marine restoration skillset’ to ensure we have both robust and connected ecosystems, but also robust and connected communities! Having both will ultimately mean we are more resilient to the impacts of climate change.






In my view the motivation to restore and rewild is growing a rapid rate, particularly in Scotland, although new restoration projects are springing up across all of the UK nations. At a policy level, Nature Based Solutions of all kinds are gaining traction, and I welcome the championing of new ways of working with nature that are underpinned by biodiversity and led by local communities.

Needless to say, the next ten years are going to be critical, and the challenge for us is that marine restoration science is still in its infancy - there is still a lot to learn! But beyond the science there is also the need for a cultural change. We need to embrace ambition and work together to restore nature. We need to be bold, be brave and be hopeful.

Seawilding are certainly putting hope well and truly on the agenda again, adding seagrass restoration skills to their existing skills in native oyster restoration. By the end of this year, the team will have restored over 300,000 native oysters into Loch Craignish, with another 700,000 to follow over the next few years. However, it’s not just about the numbers, for me it’s the manner in which this ecosystem restoration is being achieved.

For many people, the thought of starting, or even engaging with an existing restoration project may feel a little intimidating. It’s certainly been said to me that there can be an impression that marine restoration is too complicated and that too much science is needed! However, I am always keen to emphasise that it’s not an inaccessible activity, and that this is particularly true when it comes to seagrass!

Children as young as seven have been out in the seagrass meadows, picking seeds with Seawilding for restoring degraded meadows. In many respects seagrass restoration is just underwater gardening; picking seeds from existing plants and then planting them where we think the seeds will grow best. When it comes to restoration there is no substitute for participation, as people learn so much just by doing and from experiencing the process for themselves.

There’s an old Greek proverb that translates as “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” This philosophy speaks to the Seawilding ideology that there's a depth of meaning that we can bring to our lives when we act for something greater than ourselves.


Whilst the planting of a hessian bag full of seeds is clearly a visible act of restoration, it’s just the end of a journey of decisions that were taken to reach that point. We can all make changes in our own lives that will contribute to the cultural transformation and goals of #GenerationRestoration that we are all trying to achieve. In whatever line of work you find yourself in, know you can make a difference. Let us all choose love stories over horror stories and join the global movement to restore our world.