St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve

Cover image VMR Prawn © Cathy Lewis

The St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (VMR) is a charity based on the East coast of Scotland which is dedicated to working with local communities to conserve and maintain the amazing stretch of marine environment along the Berwickshire coastline.

The VMR’s purpose is the conservation of a spectacular stretch of marine environment, off the East coast of Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders.  It has sought to deliver on this purpose through education, interpretation, promotion of the marine environment, and importantly, a partnership between stakeholders, accommodating commercial interests within its conservation aims.

“Working with communities to deliver healthy, thriving seas, coast and communities.”

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When the VMR was established in 1984, it was one of the first marine reserves in the UK and provided a lead and an inspiration to other individuals and bodies committed to marine conservation. A new VMR committee has been established recently with new officer bearers.  Their objective is to secure and revitalise the VMR, to modernise its governance arrangements and to provide a step change in its performance.  A base line survey of the Reserve Area is fundamental to these plans, and will be the stepping stone to the enhanced outcomes to which the new committee is committed.

The creation of a “St. Abbs and Eyemouth VMR Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation” will update the legal status of the organisation, and allow for refreshed aims, objectives and new projects. The VMR will become a portal through which information regarding all aspects of the local marine environment can be promoted, and the primary purpose of marine conservation delivered.

Conserve the biodiversity of the coastal waters and to raise awareness of the marine environment through education and promote responsible recreational use alongside a sustainable fishery to the mutual benefit of all

Sustain and where possible, enhance the habitats, communities and species within the VMR

Work closely with local (and, if appropriate for local outcomes, national) marine, fishery, conservation and wildlife groups helping support their project plans and offering representation as and where possible

Optimise the interpretation and education potential of the VMR to user groups and visitors

Encourage informed and sympathetic recreational use

Integrate management of the VMR and the Berwickshire and North Northumberland Coast Marine Nature Partnership

Use the VMR to promote marine conservation and the need for sustainable use of the marine environment