Freshwater Biological Association and Lakes Aquarium open new exhibit ‘Restoring Freshwater Mussel Rivers’

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The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) and the Lakes Aquarium are excited to announce the opening of a new ‘Restoring Freshwater Mussel Rivers’ exhibit at the Lakes Aquarium. Freshwater pearl mussels have been native to our rivers since the last Ice Age. This exhibit showcases the amazing work going on across Cumbria and England to safeguard our remaining populations.

The new interactive exhibit will be opening to the public on 27 February 2016, with opportunities to meet the team and take part in activities. Find out more about this intriguing species and its fascinating life cycle, the threats currently facing the freshwater pearl mussel and the flagship, Biffa Award funded project “Restoring Freshwater Mussel Rivers in England” lead by the FBA in collaboration with partners Devon Wildlife Trust, North York Moors National Park Authority and South and West Cumbria Rivers Trusts.

Bill Brierley, Chief Executive of the Freshwater Biological Association says “This project is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference to this critically endangered species. The exhibit the FBA have developed at the Lakes Aquarium is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn about a little-known species and how it helps keep our rivers clean”.
FBA staff, accompanied by representatives from local partners will be at the Lakes Aquarium on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February to answer any questions the public have about freshwater pearl mussels and the project and will outline the captive rearing work that is being undertaken at the FBA.

Chris Sturdy, Displays and Maintenance Manager at the Lakes Aquarium says “The Lakes Aquarium is very excited to be entering a partnership with the FBA to raise awareness of the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel. The new exhibit will showcase information about the mussel in a fun and engaging way for all who visit the aquarium, whilst the aquarium team will support the FBA with their vital conservation work through knowledge exchange and practical help”.

Contact:Louise Lavictoire
llavictoire@fba.org.uk
Freshwater Biological Association
The Ferry Landing, Far Sawrey, Ambleside,
Cumbria, LA22 0LP. Phone: 015394 87712 or 015394 42468

NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Freshwater Biological Association
The FBA is an independent membership association and a registered charity. Founded in 1929 and a charity since 1966, we are dedicated to increasing the understanding and sustainable management of freshwaters.
Our aim is to encourage as many people as possible to be interested in fresh waters and understand the importance of sound evidence and information – whether scientific, technical or other knowledge – in protecting and managing our precious waters.
We do this by disseminating information, providing high quality training, facilitating innovative and essential research and providing sound independent advice and opinion from our specialised facilities on the shores of Lake Windermere in Cumbria and on the banks of the River Frome in Dorset.
www.fba.org.uk

Biffa Award
Since 1997, Biffa Award has awarded grants totalling more than £156 million to thousands of worthwhile community and environmental projects across the UK. The programme administers money donated by Biffa Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.
www.biffa-award.org

Landfill Communities Fund
The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is an innovative tax credit scheme enabling operators (LOs) to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). EBs use this funding for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites. LOs are able to claim a credit (currently 5.1%) against their landfill tax liability for 90% of the contributions they make.
Since its inception in 1996, over £1.4billion has been spent on more than 51,000 projects across the UK. For further information please visit www.entrust.org.uk or see HMRC’s general guide to landfill tax.

Open for Business

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Following recent flooding we are pleased to confirm that we are open for business, open daily from 10am. Everyday except Christmas Day.

Arrival of baby West African Dwarf Crocodiles

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After approximately 5 years with us Gorden the Caiman is moving on to a new home in Oxfordshire as part of the ‘Crocodiles of the World display’ owned by ‘Croc Man’ Shaun Foggett.

Shaun was brave enough to enter the enclosure in order to capture Gorden and box him up ready for the long journey to his new home. We wish them both a safe journey and hope to hear lots about Gordens new life surrounded by crocs.

  

Lakes Aquarium is pleased to be working alongside Shaun in his conservation and breeding programme of West African Dwarf Crocodiles.

Four crocs have now made Lakes Aquarium home and will stay here until they are old enough to become part of the breeding programme run by Shaun.

  

Calf of Man Island Seal Survey

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Sarah one of our aquarists was sent on a special mission in October to help monitor seal pups on Calf of Man a remote island off the Isle of Man.

The Calf of Man is of great importance due to it being a recognised breeding site of grey seals and is therfore an ideal base for a pup census, photo ID and behavioural observations.

In order to complete the survey Sarah was away from the trappings of modern civilisation for a whole week. No mobile phone to call home, no internet, no motor transport and no hot showers, actually no showers at all!

The day she landed on the island by the once weekly boat delivering supplies she was hit by the enormity of the task ahead but soon she found the bunk barn and met some of the islands wardens and all was well.

The days on the island consisted of daily walks of the island plotting locations of new seal pups and their mothers. Once found the new mothers were monitored which involved many an hour sitting still on rocks and watching and reporting on the seals behaviour patterns. The birds on the island were so unused to humans that they were unafraid and were known to land on her as she sat.

After a week of monitoring she was pleased to see the arrival of a number of new pups and felt her physical fitness improve as she walked the many miles of the island by foot.

Sarah had a wonderful time monitoring the seals and looks forward to many future adventures, watch this space for more missions!

Oscar's adventures!

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As part of our Annual Pass Kids Club events this month we are giving away free Oscar otters with kids Annual Passes. All we ask is that the members keep a diary of their adventures with Oscar.

Meet Ben he has been having fun with his Oscar. Not only did he meet Oscar the mascot during an Easter visit to the aquarium but his cuddly Oscar even got to attend his grannys 60th birthday party! We hope Oscar didn't eat all the cake!

Thank you Ben for these wonderful pictures. Keep them coming!

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The Lakes Aquarium is a great day trip out for all the family. We are a fun, friendly, all weather attraction situated at Lakeside, near Newby Bridge, at the south end of Lake Windermere. The Aquarium offers disabled and wheelchair access and we welcome educational visits and group bookings.