A Big Move for the FBA

Wednesday, 30th June 2021

Since its inception in 1929, the Freshwater Biological Association has migrated along the shores of Windermere, beginning with Wray Castle in 1931 and progressing to Ferry Landing from 1950 onwards. The move from Wray to Ferry House was a necessity, due to the growing number of staff, and afforded us with greater ease of access while keeping us connected to favoured Lake District study sites. Our transition to Pearsall from Ferry House allowed for the development of freshwater training and information dissemination through our library and laboratory facilities and has provided us with a brilliant base for communicating science with a wider audience. As the climate of freshwater science and the needs of scientists and enthusiasts alike has changed, the FBA has strived to change with it, offering expert advice, tuition, and sound knowledge to those that need it. As we now move the organisation to the YMCA Lakeside, we do so in a continued effort to best support the understanding and protection of freshwater ecosystems, while further developing our role as a steppingstone between researchers and the public. 

YMCA Lakeside, June 2021 © FBA, Mark Battista

YMCA Lakeside, June 2021 © FBA, Mark Battista

We are happy to announce that our main office, laboratory, and conference facilities have now been officially moved to the Hedley Building at the YMCA at Lakeside.  This building provides ample space for our staff and visitors while keeping the FBA on the shore of Windermere, where our history was first established.  The placement of the FBA at the YMCA Lakeside means that we are able to offer affordable accommodation to those who visit to partake in one of our many educational courses. It is our hope that this will open our courses up to a wider audience who may have previously been deterred by the limited accommodation options proximal to our location at Pearsall.  Although our main office has had a change of scenery, the Pearl Mussel Project remains at our mussel hatchery facilities alongside Mitchell Wyke Bay, maintaining the wellbeing of this unique and highly threatened species.

The Hedley Building, YMCA Lakeside © FBA, Mark Battista

The FBA is home to a broad range of historical scientific collections, including specimens and data collected by eminent freshwater scientists like T. T. Macan, Winifred Frost and John Lund. These too have found a home with us at the Hedley.  This is with the exception of the extensive Fritsch Collection of Freshwater, Brackish and Terrestrial Algal Illustrations, which were under the care of curator and FBA Fellow Elizabeth Haworth; this collection has now been undertaken by the Natural History Museum in London with the aim that it be made accessible to a wider audience through digitisation and curation. We would like to say a huge thank you to Liz, who has been helpful and considerate throughout this transition. We have also been able to rehome a large proportion of the journals held at the Pearsall with organisations, institutions and individuals within the freshwater community, and are currently in the process of moving the entirety of the freshwater library. 

We are extremely grateful to all of our staff for making the move as seamless as possible, especially to Martin Shepherd for all the painting and maintenance he has done to make the Hedley Building feel like home. We’re delighted to have completed this next step for the FBA and as always, we thank you for your continued support, which helps us carry on in completing our objectives for the future of freshwater.  

YMCA Lakeside, June 2021 © FBA, Mark Battista

Please note that our registered address remains: The Ferry Landing, Far Sawrey, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0LP