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Supported by: John Ellerman Foundation
The Native Oyster Network is a community of academics, conservationists, oystermen and NGO’s who are working to restore self-sustaining populations of native oysters. The network was established by Dr Joanne Preston & Alison Debney in 2017 to support the growing need of the species, habitat and those working to restore O. edulis in Europe.


Facilitate an ecologically coherent and collaborative approach to native oyster restoration in the UK & Ireland

Promote information sharing and effective communication of matters relating to native oyster conservation

Increase awareness of the cultural and environmental value of native oysters



Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland conference - first shared communications between oyster restoration initiatives.

2nd October 2017

The first UK network meeting of oyster restoration practitioners

3rd November 2017

Establishment of Native Oyster Restoration Alliance (NORA) in Europe, during their first meeting.

October 2018

ZSL and the University of Portsmouth secured funding from the John Ellerman Foundation to fund the Native Oyster Network – UK & Ireland

11th December 2018

First Official Native Oyster Network meeting

Dr Joanne Preston

Principal Lecturer in Marine Biology,
University of Portsmouth

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Joanne co-founded the Native Oyster Network in 2017. She is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and scientific lead on the Solent Oyster Restoration Project – where 40,000 oysters have been restored to date. Joanne has extensive knowledge and expertise in native oyster restoration and enjoys communicating her work in engaging ways – most recently on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4.

Alison Debney

Senior Programme Manager,
UK & Europe, ZSL

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Alison co-founded the Native Oyster Network in 2017, along with Jo. She is a Senior Conservation Programme Manager at ZSL. Currently acting as Chair, Alison has been part of the Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative (ENORI) since it was established in 2011. Recently Alison launched a campaign named “Mother Thames” shedding light on the biodiversity of marine species in the River Thames, including the ENORI project at the mouth of the Greater Thames Estuary.

Celine Gamble

Native Oyster Network - UK & Ireland, Coordinator



organisational members


To join our Native Oyster Restoration Network and help us to restore Native Oysters in the UK and Ireland, please get in contact with us

Many thanks to Luke Helmer, David Smyth, Alice Lown and the Solent Oyster Restoration Project for providing images used on this page!