Back On Our Map (BOOM) - Flagship wildlife project for the Bay gets the green light

Back On Our Map (BOOM) - Flagship wildlife project for the Bay gets the green light

A pioneering new project with University of Cumbria supporting species reintroduction

Morecambe Bay Partnership is delighted to be a partner in an innovative new project led by the University of Cumbria. Funding has been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of a £2million programme to help save, protect and reintroduce wildlife across the county of Cumbria.

Back on Our Map (BOOM) is a four-year project fighting to save the future for the hazel dormouse, Duke of Burgundy butterfly and small blue butterfly in South Cumbria.

Seven rare plants are also to be reintroduced to their habitats including 

  • goldilocks aster
  • greater and oblong sundew
  • green-winged orchid
  • maidenhair fern
  • spiked speedwell
  • aspen

The project also aims to work towards reintroducing the Cumbrian corncrake and pine marten to the region.

BOOM will champion local custodianship of nature by offering a wealth of training opportunities in horticulture and conservation from species handling and breeding, to surveying, habitat management and planting techniques. There will be training for 145 people and the team will work with local communities including young people and prisoners at HMP Haverigg. There will also be opportunities for families to get involved through species walks and talks, nature and art competitions and classes culminating in an exhibition.

Susannah Bleakley, chief executive of Morecambe Bay partnership said, “Well done to the team at University of Cumbria on this success.  We are delighted to be partners in this work, it’s such an important project.  Conservation has moved on radically from the days of old when work focused on conserving single species, to conserving and then restoring whole habitats. What is so exciting about this work is that it progresses this even further and seeks to reintroduce species and to learn as much as possible in doing so. That the hazel dormouse is part of this work just makes my heart skip.  They are probably the cutest creatures you will ever see.   I’ve never seen one for real, but I so hope that many more people will have a chance of meeting these adorable little fluff balls and understand how they play a part in the woodland ecosystem."

Find out more from the Heritage Fund

Images: Dormice by Ed Mills; Duke of Burgundy Butterfly courtesy of Butterfly Conservation