We are encouraging all beach visitors to participate in one of the many surveys focused on the coast. This is a fun way to learn about the natural world, while helping to collect useful information about the creatures that live around our coasts and any changes that might be happening.
The principle behind citizen science is to use the power of volunteer research to explore or collect huge data sets. These are ones that researchers simply couldn’t manage by themselves, take part and you could contribute to a greater understanding of our coast and the world.
The Scottish coastline consists of thousands of miles of rocky shores, sandy beaches and pebble-covered bays and hosts an amazing range of species. As the meeting place of land and sea, you’re never sure what you’ll find in rockpools, or hiding in the seaweed along the strandline.
Remember these important things when visiting the seashore:
- Take care! The seashore can be a slippy, rocky place - so watch where you step and check the tide times before exploring.
- Treat animals as you would like to be treated.
- Do not dislodge or remove animals from the place in which you found them.
- Carefully lift and replace rocks and seaweed where you found them.
- If you find anything unusual do not touch it until you know it is safe.
- Plastic waste can be very harmful to wildlife. Take your rubbish home and consider helping with your next local beach Clean Up.
- Only take a few empty shells home with you- remember empty shells may be reused by many other species including hermit crabs and the Gold-Fringed Mason bee, that nests in empty snail shells on the Solway coast.
- Wash your hands when you have finished.
Capturing our Coast – Scottish waters are teeming with fantastic marine life CoCoast is a project that aims to find out more about the species that live in our seas and how we can protect them.
The National Sea Shell Survey includes lots of information to help you find and identify different kinds of shells and an online recording form so that you can record what you’ve seen - so please do take part and help us all learn more about our seashore bugs.
Sea Watch is a national marine environmental charity working to improve the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the seas around Britain and Ireland.- National Whale and Dolphin survey
The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. For over thirty years MCS has been the voice for the sea for all the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves, for our breath-taking coastal environment, for all those who make a sustainable living from the sea and for everyone who simply enjoys visiting the beach and our glorious coastline.- Report your sightings and take part in the Jellyfish survey, Marine Turtles, Basking Sharks or the Big Seaweed Search