How to record and submit records

The top twenty species list

Click here for the top 20 species that most people will find relatively easy to identify.



Taken from the first stage workshop by Mike Kendall.

  • Stick to your sampling plan so that you visit as many seashore habitats as you can:

High Shore ... Mid Shore ... Low Shore

Exposed Shore ... Sheltered Shore

In/Out of Water

Fresh Water ... Brackish ... Fully Saline

On or in: Rock ... Rock Pools ... Sand ... Mud ... Seaweed

Above or Beneath Boulders (always carefully turn the boulders back)


Record the presence and abundance of the species you are confident to identify. Either collect or photograph others. Make notes in the field with line drawings if helpful. A pencil and waterproof notebook are a good idea - no wet smudges.


Tip: Only a small proportion of species can be identified with total certainty from general photographs. Even so, take photos and try to get clear photos, or drawn images, of features you think will help with identification.


Being Safe On the Shore

These are some basic guidelines, which will help you to enjoy surveying.

1. Check the tide times before you go out, make sure you have enough time to explore without racing a tide coming back in.

2. Tell someone exactly where you are going and give an approximate time for when you will be back.

3. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and in a waterproof case or bag. Check someone has your mobile number before you go out.

4. It is always wise to take out a mini first aid kit, waterproof plasters are very handy.

5. Check the weather forecast just before you go out, the weather can change very quickly.

6. Wear the appropriate clothing as being hot, cold or wet can lead to serious conditions and will ruin your day. If cold, make sure your clothes are wind proof and rain proof. Wear layers in case you warm up walking, but can layer up again when stationary. If hot please use sunblock, do not forget the back of your neck. Wear a hat with a good brim.

7. Wear good waterproof boots or wellies, with good grips. Rocks and shingle on the shore can be very slippery.

8. Be careful of silts and muds, they can be deceptive and it is easy to get stuck in deep mud. This would be an undesirable situation with a rising tide.

9. Be visible on the shore, if you did get into difficulties you'd want to be seen so take along a high vis jacket or a bright torch.

10. Take care when turning rocks, apart from the need to turn rocks back for the wildlife that depends on them, there is always the risk of human rubbish being hidden there. Look out for sharp edges on glass or metal.

11.  You should be observing mostly, but do look out for occasions where close study may bring you in contact with animals with stings, such as some anemones and jellyfish. Beware of nips from crabs, squat lobsters and the odd bite from rag worms.

12.  On a hot day make sure you have drinking water with you.

If you start to feel cold it is time to go home

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