With the news that Plymouth Sound is to be the UK’s first National Marine Park, the new custodian of Drake’s Island is announcing a unique collaboration with the National Marine Aquarium, run by ocean conservation charity, the Ocean Conservation Trust which will enhance learning for local children.

The collaboration has flowed from Morgan Phillips, the new owner of Drake’s Island, enlisting the support of the Ocean Conservation Trust to assist him with research and studies into sea horses, sea grass and seal population as part of the planning conditions to develop the island.

Those initial discussions have expanded and now full access to Drake’s Island will be given to the research team as they look to learn, discover and uncover this important part of the UK’s ecological system. In addition to access for the research team, local school children will also be given the opportunity to visit Drake’s Island as part of the project, helping to build their marine and environmental education.

Morgan Phillips explained: “It’s always been a part of our plan to make Drake’s Island as accessible as possible to the people of Plymouth and what better way of doing that than offering local school children the chance to visit the island as part of this collaboration with the world renowned National Marine Aquarium.”

“Drake’s Island has always sat proudly in the middle of Plymouth Sound but now it’s us that have a sense of pride, because this island sits in the middle of the UK’s first National Marine Park.”

Roger Maslin, CEO at the Ocean Conservation Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Drake’s Island for this exciting new project for Britain’s Ocean City, which will provide an opportunity for important research to be done into the marine life and habitats that reside in our waters as well as engaging local school children with the UK’s first National Marine Park.”

“At the Ocean Conservation Trust, it is our goal to connect people with the Ocean, because we know – thanks to our 21 years of experience, as well as a growing body of research – that doing so encourages people to protect it. We already work extensively with young people across the city to connect them with the Ocean via our Learning programme, which is largely based at our centre of Ocean excellence, the National Marine Aquarium, so this is a great opportunity to get them out there in the field and learning with some first-hand experience of the Ocean.”