National Lobster Hatchery

The National Lobster Hatchery (NLH) in Padstow, Cornwall, is a pioneering marine conservation, research and education charity that aims to help conserve native lobster populations, preserve marine biodiversity and ultimately help protect the long term future of vulnerable marine resources and the many coastal communities and livelihoods they support.

a woman holding a lobster

The charity achieves this via its education and research outputs, coupled with a unique and innovative lobster stock enhancement programme. This involves raising baby lobsters at the hatchery until they reach a life stage at which they are better able to survive in the wild, at which point they are released back into coastal waters with the help of local fishermen and dive schools, helping to replenish natural stocks. Since opening in 2000, NLH has released over 200,000 baby lobsters and over 500,000 visitors have been educated about sustainability issues associated with fisheries at the charity’s small visitor centre.

NLH is an example of a charity that works hard to help itself – when they applied to the Foundation, the organisation had undergone a strategic review and had sensible but ambitious plans to generate income; however they required core funding  to help embed these plans.  Since the Foundation’s grant, NLH has had  a 22% increase in visitors following a marketing campaign, has seen a steady growth in online sales, launched a Patrons Club and  an innovative ‘Buy One Set One Free’ campaign to generate individual donations.

“The support from the Garfield Weston Foundation has been a real game changer for the charity – over the past 12 months, instead of being distracted by trying to raise funds to make ends meet, the charity has been able to focus on a clearer, more strategic approach to developing its work. As a result, we have made some big leaps forward in marine conservation, research and education activities. This funding has made a huge difference to a small but steadily growing charity, delivering maximum long term benefit for both the lobster populations and the communities that rely upon them.” Clare Stanley, Business Development Officer.