Partners of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Get to know our partners who will help people engage with Plymouth Sound in many exciting ways.

About the Horizons Project

The Horizons Project provides a unique opportunity to pioneer a new approach to protecting and restoring the amazing heritage of the Sound. We are working with four key partners that provide gateways to Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. These organisations are delivering multiple programmes to Plymouth which will connect more citizens to our natural and cultural heritage in, on, under and around our National Marine Park.

Ocean Conservation Trust

The Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) is a charity whose work is centred around people and positive action. Focusing on two main areas; behaviour change and habitat restoration, they take an optimistic and solutions-based approach to Ocean health that is centred around physical and emotional connections with nature. Alongside their work around the globe, they have been working for decades to show why Plymouth Sound should be celebrated and preserved, and their tireless efforts to research, educate and engage people and communities with our National Marine Park have helped put this unique seascape on the map.

One of the main aims of the OCT is to connect as many people with the Ocean as possible, creating accessible and inclusive experiences, and showcasing the Ocean and all it has to offer. Much of this is achieved at the National Marine Aquarium (NMA), which the OCT own and run. Opened in 1998 and set on the edge of the National Marine Park, the NMA is the largest charitable aquarium in the UK. Most recently it was featured in ‘Secrets of the Aquarium’, a 6-part BBC Documentary which not only offered an incredible behind-the-scenes look at the NMA, but also featured the Marine Park and highlighted some of the work being done with the OCT as a gateway partner.

‘Our charity is all about people. Through our work we have connected over six million people with the Ocean in our Aquarium, and delivered over half a million curriculum linked education sessions.‘ Nicola Bridge, Head of Ocean Advocacy & Engagement, The Ocean Conversation Trust.

Since it’s conception, the OCT have led a world-class Learning Programme, using the Ocean to deliver all subjects of the curriculum. This is why they were chosen to deliver our Schools Program: ‘Sea in your School’, an exciting Key Stage 2 programme which will enable primary school children to experience Plymouth Sound National Marine Park virtually using the OCTs immersive VR technology. This unique and memorable way of bringing education to life will amplify what the OCT are already doing to connect young people to the Ocean, and in-turn encourage more people to protect and engage with Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. Find out more from the OCT here: Sea in Our School – Ocean Conservation Trust

In addition to this, the OCT will be running ‘Meet the Marine Park’, our campaign to take Plymouth Sound National Marine Park our into city and engage with the people of Plymouth through hands on workshops, engagement activities, games and more. Bringing the park to the people of Plymouth will help us better understand the barriers to accessing the Marine Park and together work to resolve them. Not only are the OCT connecting millions of people with our ocean, they are upholding the responsibility to restore our National Marine Park too. Over the past decade, their primary focus has been on protecting and regenerating our seagrass beds which, due to human activity, have been lost over time. Seagrasses are one of the most valuable and biodiverse habitats on the planet and are one of the few habitats that provide multiple benefits to the environment.

Find out about Meet the Marine Park on our events page

Plymouth Active Leisure

Plymouth Active Leisure (PAL) is a community company owned by Plymouth City Council. PAL was formed in 2022 to manage these leisure centres that are extremely popular to Plymouth citizens:

– Plympton Swimming Pool and Gym
– Plymouth Life Centre
– Tinside Lido
– Mount Wise Pools

Since the birth of PAL, they have had a clear vision to promote physical and mental well-being by giving people the opportunity to stay active. They keep their fingers on the pulse of the Plymouth communities to provide comprehensive programmes of activities that support their well-being goals.

With Tinside Lido and Mount Wise Pools being right on the Plymouth Sound doorstep, PAL brings countless amounts of people to engage with our Marine Park. Both centres provide a safe space to swim by the sea without feeling the (sometimes daunting) motion of the ocean. This allows people to gain confidence in the water or just to have fun whilst exercising during the warmer months.

Working with Tinside Lido, we are furbishing the first floor and terrace which will create a multi-purpose event space for people to enjoy with panoramic views of the National Marine Park.

Visit and sign up to Plymouth Active Leisure sessions here

Mount Batten Peninsula

The Mount Batten peninsula has been home to Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre (MBC), for 25 years. MBC was opened in 1999 and has been instrumental in delivering a wide range of activities in, under and around Plymouth Sound National Marine Park ever since. MBC are also the key holders to the Mount Batten Tower, an artillery tower built in 1652 that lends itself to a beautiful, panoramic view of the National Marine Park.

Installing a new pontoon, enabling more accessible changing rooms and updating the café at MBC, and improved access to the 17th Century Tower will all begin this year as part of the successful National Lottery Heritage Fund bid.

Find out more about the Mount Batten Centre and their water sport sessions here

Mount Edgcumbe – Garden Battery

Mount Edgcumbe is a place of ancient barrows mystical woodland, forts and chapels dotted along the remote coastline, above secret beaches and smugglers coves. But how does this relate to our National Marine Park?

Their landscape is made up of 865 acres of curated and maintained trees and shrubs. Their roots strengthen the soil which heavily reduces any run off in our the Sound during wet seasons. This means cleaner water and healthier marine wildlife.

To increase visitors’ connection to the National Marine Park we will be working closely with Mount Edgcumbe to restore the Garden Battery, which provides a beautiful panoramic view over Plymouth Sound. This space will be designed with accessibility at paramount importance so everyone will be able to enjoy our beautiful, maritime heritage.

Mount Edgcumbe also hosts vibrant events and activities throughout the summer months. Visit our events page for find out more

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