Meet Kirstie – writer, paddle boarder, super mum, anti-plastic hero AND an all round ocean enthusiast!
This week, we had a wonderful visit from the Lovely Kirstie, her partner and lovely 8 year old Bella who live over in Falmouth! Kirstie is a writer, paddle boarder, super mum, anti-plastic hero AND an all round ocean enthusiast! You may have heard of her too, as she was the co-founder of Plastic Free Falmouth and is even the Deputy Mayor of Falmouth! We invited Kirstie and her family to visit the National Lobster Hatchery to hear about what they thought of our little lobsters! They kindly wrote us this amazing blog post to share - We want to say a huge thank you to Kirstie and her lovely family for taking the time visit us and write such wonderful words! We hope you enjoy reading this as much as us!
Words by Kirstie Edwards:
I've always had a passion for the sea and all who live in her. I don’t know where it began, but even as a small child I recall being in awe of her power and the diversity of creatures that lived in the small green and blue pools at her edge. As an adult, my mind is still blown by the new things I learn daily about our sea dwellers- did you know we have Whales just off our coasts?! I didn’t until not that long ago- or that leatherback turtles pay us visits in the summer months, chasing their favourite meal- the jellyfish across the oceans!
Today has been a continuation of that learning, at the quite brilliant Lobster Hatchery in Padstow. I visited with my partner and youngest daughter (8) and we were welcomed by a teeny tiny one day old Lobster on the door, along with an incredibly knowledgeable lady, who explained what we could find inside the building and some cool little facts about this tiny creature.
Upon entering the building, there are a range of information points, which vary in detail and design, so both us adults and our daughter were able to access them independently. Then we spotted some super cool old creatures- a 50 year old Lobster, massive devil crab and a really cool crab that has a spongey back to help it camouflage!
We then moved onto the maternity wing and nursery and saw thousands of babies and learnt that the berried hens (pregnant Lobster females) have to have their claws taped to prevent them getting grumpy with one another, and that they are numbered by the fishing boat that bought them in, so they can be returned to the right boat for release or sale. It's really great to see the conservation and fishing industries working so cohesively together. If there's one thing I have learnt in the last few years, it's that the sea relies on us all doing our bit, to help it flourish.
At this point there is a great range of physically interactive information points at child height, that even we as adults learnt more from- that lobster eggs change colour as they age and the slow speed at which they grow. The staff in the center are really helpful and shared plenty of insights with us, engaging our daughter throughout.
Upstairs are the two new spaces, which are really fabulous if you have children and enjoy lovely views! We love fossils and looking at how animals evolve and why, so it was really excellent to have access to view a loaned instillation from the Manchester museum, where you can literally see how a lobster developed from a fossilised creature living millions of years ago! Our daughter loved this after spending time in Dorset fossil hunting a couple of years ago. There was also a great short film about the work of the hatchery and why it is so important.
In the second room is a space to let the kids be free- lets face it, we all need to be a bit free range at times! This is a great idea as the kids can explore, draw, fiddle, listen and engage with the space how they choose. Structured spaces like museums and information centers, can be tough for little people who are expected to be quiet and calm throughout- We felt very welcome and comfortable throughout the building to just let our daughter lead the experience.
We had a really fabulous time visiting the Hatchery and came away with big smiles on our faces and feeling pretty thankful that there are so many great people working hard to help our Lobster population remain sustainable. We loved adopting a baby lobster- in fact we adopted two! The vital work that this place does is really worth supporting- its not a big space- but it has a HUGE impact.
"I really loved the baby lobsters, they were so cute. I thought the female lobster were big and strong. My favourite thing there was definitely was the giant white lobster I thought it was so big and fierce."