As production has eased off in the hatchery with the cooling of winter sea water temperatures, the Outreach project has been busy as ever, with Christmas activities! The National Lobster Hatchery team had a wonderful festive time at the infamous Padstow Christmas Festival, promoting our conservation work with the help of our little baby 10 week old lobsters! Displayed safely and clearly for people to view as part of our Christmas stall, the team used the live exhibit to engage with shoppers and educate about lobster biology. Alongside the educational display, the “Little shop of Lobsters” sold unusual lobster themed festive gifts, including Adopt a Lobster gift packs; these will help fund the rearing of baby lobsters in spring, while each customer will receive a chocolate lobster to eat on Christmas morning! There was also a children’s lucky dip and our unique driftwood Christmas tree, decorated with traditional coloured glass buoys and resin star fish!
This month the NLH has also hosted Masters students from the Biodiversity and Conservation course at the University of Exeter, Falmouth campus. They enjoyed a tour of the hatchery facility, and a discussion of cutting edge aquaculture techniques. Students were bright and engaging, asking stimulating questions as well as in indulging in some colouring-in activities normally reserved for our much younger visitors.
Finally, a group of secondary school students from Acorn Academy, an Alternative Provision school, visited the Hatchery to participate in Key Stage four lessons on Food Webs and Energy Transfer. These activities aim to enable the pupils to reintegrate into mainstream schools, and were met with strongly positive feedback from both teachers and students.