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Press release

Wild Oyster Project pledges to teach 12,000 students about the ocean

Project to restore oysters around UK coastline launches school lesson packs to inspire children to protect oceans

An ambitious restoration project working to help restore healthy, resilient coastal waters around the UK, is aiming to educate over 12,000 students about the ocean through new education programme released today (3 March 2022).

The Wild Oysters Project education packs – created by conservationists and education specialists at ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) – support the national science curriculum and encourage children (aged 8-14 years old) to care for the marine environment and spread the word about the importance of a native oyster population in the UK.

Celine Gamble, Wild Oysters Project Manager, ZSL said; “Across the UK native oyster populations have declined by over 95%. Despite their small size oysters are capable of filtering 200 litres of water a day helping to clean our seas. Healthy oyster reefs are hugely productive and support an array of marine biodiversity.

“We have created new teacher resources to enhance and support classroom teaching by providing real-world context to science, geography and citizenship topics within the local environment for classrooms across the UK.”

Available to download in a PDF or a presentation format, the resources give teachers the tools to highlight the significance of a healthy ocean to their students – helping them to understand that oceans are home to 90% of our planet’s wildlife and why it’s important they absorb one third of the carbon dioxide that we produce.

Created to ensure students recognise the reasons why oysters declined and how these tiny superheroes can help the marine environment in future, the lesson plans include ‘the variety of life that lives in the ocean’, and ‘nine ways students can reduce ocean plastic’.

Using artefact-handling, whole class discussion, games such as bingo, individual and small group work, the lesson plans for KS2 and KS3 link to National Curriculums for England and Wales, and BGE in Scotland – including Living Things and their Habitats, Biodiversity and Interdependence for KS2 and Topical Science and Biology for KS3.

Students who complete the lessons will be able to understand the incredible adaptations of oysters and be able to describe an oyster food web, using the terms producer as well as primary, secondary and tertiary consumers.

For the schools local to The Wild Oysters Project restoration sites- Tyne and Wear in the North East of England, Conwy Bay in Wales, and the Firth of Clyde in Scotland – local project officers from Groundwork NE, Bangor University and Clyde Porpoise CIC are available to deliver the lessons themselves before schools are invited on a field trip to visit their local oyster restoration hub where student will get to connect with nature.

Celine Gamble continued; “As part of this ambitious project we have already restored 4,000 native oysters; suspending them under marina pontoons in oyster nurseries, a micro habitat acting as a maternity ward to the next generation of oysters, to support our oceans. Local schools can visit the sites where these oysters are housed across the UK to better understand the marine environment and the incredible wildlife that the oysters live alongside.

“We hope the lesson plans and field visits will inspire the next generation to care for our oceans and understand how a healthy ocean can support our ecosystem.”

International conservation charities ZSL and BLUE and their partner British Marine received an award of £1,180,000, raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and awarded as part of the Dream Fund, to boost British native oyster populations and engage thousands of volunteers, students, and local community groups.

For more information and to download the Wild Oysters Project educational materials visit

Editor’s Notes 

The Wild Oysters Project is located in the Tyne and Wear in the North East of England, Conwy Bay in Wales, and the Firth of Clyde in Scotland.

Supported by local partners Groundwork North East and Cumbria and the Environment Agency North East in England. The School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University in Wales and Clyde porpoise CIC (Community Interest Company) and local working group Fairlie Coastal Trust in Scotland.


Curriculum Links England:
KS2 Science

Living things and their habitats

  • Y4 (changing environments)

Animals, including humans

  • Y4 (food chains)


Scotland: First/Second Level Science

Planet Earth – Biodiversity and Interdependence

  • SCN 1-02a (food chains, interdependence)
  • SCN 2-02a (interdependence, food webs)

First/Second Level Social Studies People, place and environment

  • SOC 1-08a (community and environmental care)
  • SOC 2-08a (human impact on the environment)


Wales: KS2 Science

Interdependence of organisms

  • 5 (food chains/webs)
  • 6 (environmental factors)
  • 7 (human impact)

Personal and social education

  • Active citizenship

Careers and the world of work


England: KS3 Science
  • Biology

o Interactions and interdependencies o Genetics and evolution KS3 Citizenship

  • ‘the roles played by public institutions…’

KS3 Geography

  • Human and physical geography (‘understand how human and physical processes interact…’)


Scotland: Second/Third Level Science

Planet Earth – Biodiversity and Interdependence

  • SCN 2-01a (adaptation)
  • SCN 2-02a (interdependence, food webs)

Topical Science

  • SCN 3-20a (find and present info on scientists and innovation)

Second/Third Level Social Studies People, place and environment

  • SOC 2-08a (human impact on the environment)
  • SOC 3-08a (consequences of environmental issues)
  • SOC 3-10a (interrelationships in environment)

Health and wellbeing Planning for choices and changes

  • HWB 3-19a (relevance of learning to future opportunities)


Wales: KS3 Science

Interdependence of organisms

  • 4 (interdependence, food webs)
  • 5 (food webs and environmental factors)
  • 6 (human impact on environment)
  • 7 (applications of science to improve human life)

KS3 Geography Range

  • Threatened environments
  • Tomorrow’s citizens
  • How do environments and people interact?
  • How can my actions make a difference?

Careers and the world of work

  • 4 (find out about the different types of work that are available

Press release: Thursday 03 March 2022

Media Contact: Stephanie Deas  E:  


ZSL (Zoological Society of London) is an international conservation charity working to create a world where wildlife thrives. From investigating the health threats facing animals to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, ZSL is committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. Our work is realised through our ground-breaking science, our field conservation around the world and engaging millions of people through our two zoos, ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. For more information, visit


Blue Marine Foundation

Known as BLUE, this UK registered charity was set up in 2010 by some of the team behind the award-winning documentary film ‘The End of the Line’. BLUE aims to restore the ocean to health by addressing overfishing, one of the world’s biggest environmental problems.  BLUE is dedicated to creating marine reserves, restoring vital habitats and establishing models of sustainable fishing.  BLUE’s mission is to see 30 per cent of the world’s ocean under effective protection by 2030.     For more information, visit


British Marine

British Marine is a not-for-profit trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. Our 1,500+ members come from a broad range of businesses including boat builders, chandlers, brokers, marinas, passenger boats and engines.  Our core aim is to deliver excellence. Both in the quality of our membership services, and representation of the interests of members and the boating community alike.    Underpinned by our new National Agenda, our vision is to create a thriving industry delivering amazing on water experiences for everyone. The marine environment is a fundamental aspect of this strategy.   For more information, visit


People’s Postcode Lottery

  1. People’s Postcode Lottery manages lotteries on behalf of 20 Postcode Trusts. People play with their chosen postcodes for a chance to win cash prizes. A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally – players have raised more than £500 million so far. For details of the charities and good causes which are promoting and benefitting from the lottery draws, please visit
  2. It costs £10 a month to play and winning postcodes are announced every day. The maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw proceed. For details, please visit
  3. New players can sign up to pay using direct debit by calling 0808 10 9 8 7 6 5. New players who sign up online at can pay using direct debit, debit card or PayPal.
  4. Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licence numbers: 000-000829-N-102511 and 000-000829-R-102513. Registered office: 2nd Floor, 31 Chertsey Street, Guildford, Surrey, England, GU1 4HD
  5. Follow us @PostcodePress


The Wild Oysters Project

The Wild Oysters Project is aiming to restore Britain’s seas to health through the restoration of the native oyster. The project is working with six marinas and ports around Britain, to deliver restoration sites in Tyne and Wear in North East England, Conwy Bay in Wales, and Firth of Clyde in Scotland.  The Wild Oysters Project is a national collaboration, led by ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and British Marine, working with the marine industry, local communities and organisations. The project is funded by the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, awarded as part of the Dream Fund.


Use of ZSL images and video

Photographs, video or graphics distributed by ZSL (Zoological Society of London) to support this media release may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the persons in the image or facts mentioned in the media release or image caption. Reuse of the picture or video requires further permission from the press office of ZSL.


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You are currently on an external database used by Zoological Society London (ZSL) as a press contact. We class press contacts as the journalists, press officers and those working within science communications who help ensure the ZSL can continue its mission. Due to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect from 25th May 2018, we are letting you know that we hold and process your data under legitimate interest. At any time you can object to the holding or processing of your data, and we will remove you from our lists (we cannot however remove you from any external database) More information on what we hold, why we keep it and what we use it for is available in our privacy statement. If you have any further questions, please get in touch.  


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