Big Barnacle Count

The CoCoast Microlives project is now LIVE, and we need your help processing the hundreds of photographs our volunteers have taken over the last three years!

Our new online project, Blame it on the Barnacles, asks you to count and identify barnacles in photographs taken by CoCoast volunteers, to provide an indication of how climate change might be affecting our coastline. The project is hosted by Zooniverse, an online portal through which anyone can take part in citizen science projects from their computer.

"Sea shore barnacles are sensitive indicators of responses to ocean climate change. Warm-water species increase and cold-water species decrease with warming. This project will help identify the mechanisms that drive these responses to climate."
Professor Mike Burrows, Scottish Association for Marine Science (CoCoast Scotland).

There are three mini projects to get stuck into - In 'Guess Who' you can identify the barnacle species; 'It's a barnacle' lets you hunt for baby barnacles hiding in the image and finally, 'Life's a beach and then you die...’ asks you to count the dead barnacles.

Follow the link to take part in the project! 

And that's a Wrap!

A superb evening was had by all at our CoCoast MCS Final Celebration event in Swansea. The evening included a 3-course meal, plenty of wine, goody-bags, presentations and a successful (who would have thought the technology would actually work?!) live link up to the other national hub events for the Awards Ceremony led by our very own Dr. Jane Delany! Special thanks to Jo Ainsworth for her fantastic and inspirational presentation: "From Sky to Sea (via the Rocky Shore)"

Congratulations to all who received awards and a HUGE thank you to each and every volunteer for your involvement in and contribution to the Capturing our Coast project over the last 3 years. We couldn't have done it without you - volunteers most definitely rock! #VolunteersRock.



Spring is in the air?!

Regardless of the weather, I've managed to convince myself that it is indeed Spring (we'll ignore recently being snowed-off the shore in Pembrokeshire) and that means survey time is well and truly upon us!

I'm delighted to announce the next batch of CoCoast Field Events with a couple of fantastic Steepholm Island ( trips and a webinar thrown in for good measure...

Please take a look at the Marine Conservation Society Hub Calendar for further details.

I look forward to seeing you on the shore soon!


Invasive Species Week Success!

Between 23rd and 29th March, the GB Non-Native Secretariat ran a national Invasive Species Week, to which CoCoast decided to help add to the search in the marine environment!


Although tides (and weather!) weren't brilliant around the country for the majority of the week, we amounted over 100 searches nationally with many new confirmed sightings of Marine Invaders!


Results from Invasive Species Week:

  • 13 new surveyors in March, adding up to a total of 83 people uploading Marine Invaders data nationally.
  • Number of individual timed surveys: 132 conducted in March (+315 previously recorded) totalling 447 searches to date.
  • Total number of confirmed sightings: 32 recorded in March (+32 previously recorded) totalling 64 confirmed sightings to date with images verified.
  • Total number of probable sightings: 5 recorded in March (+4 previously recorded) totalling 9 probably sightings to date where no images have been provided.


We have been really amazed with the results and all of your efforts!

Below shows an updated map of all presence and absence records from Marine Invaders 10 minute timed searches all around the UK (not finding something is of course just as important to record as a confirmed sighting!).


Of course, going out and searching for invasives species as part of our marine Invaders 10 minute timed searches also gives you the opportunity to look for other fabulous native species that reside on rocky shores, sandy beaches or artificial substrates (such as harbours)... don't forget - you can help us continue the search for Marine Invaders whenever and wherever you would like!



The cushion star, brittlestar and Edible Crab above were found during a CoCoast Marine Invaders Search at Meadfoot Beach on the 31st March.



Head to our website to download everything you need to get started (click here), or join your local CoCoast team at their next open event; click here for more details of events near you.


Finally, a massive THANK YOU to everyone that got involved last month... keep up the good work! laugh

Marine Invasive Identification at the MBA


On the 22nd March, we were very fortunate to be able to offer a select number of volunteers the opportunity to gets hands-on with some marine invasive species and pick up some key identification tips, courtesy of Dr John Bishop and Chris Wood of the Bishop Group ( based here at the MBA. 



After a highly informative talk by Dr Bishop about invasive species in the UK, volunteers were split into groups and got the opportunity to learn about a whole host of non-native and invasive species, both live and preserved, in comparison to native UK species. 


The evening was fantastic fun and of course highly educational; we were delighted to see everyone so enthusiastic to further their understanding of invasive species and of course eager to help us search for Marine Invaders on UK coastlines!



Images above show a Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) and various algae and chromist species including Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida), Devil's Tongue Weed (Grateloupia turuturu), Japanese Wireweed (Sargassum muticum) and Harpoon Weed (Asparagopsis armata). 




As today is the official start of GBNNSS's 'Invasive Species Week' which runs from 23rd-29th March 2018, #CoCoastSW are excited to have a number of upcoming events that everyone is welcome to attend and #getINNSvolved, whether you are registered with CoCoast or not:

  • Wednesday 28th March – Marine Invaders Species Open Evening, MBA Plymouth (Open Event – click here)
  • Thursday 29th March – Marine Invaders Species Search, Tinside Plymouth (Open Event – click here)
  • Friday 30th March – Marine Invaders Species Search with the Three Bays Wildlife Group at Portholland, nr St. Austell (Volunteer-led; registered CoCoast volunteers only – click here)
  • Saturday 31st March – Marine Invaders Species Search, Meadfoot Torbay (Open Event – click here)

For more information about these events, please click the links above or contact the CoCoast Southwest team at:



If you don't live in the Southwest and would like more information on marine invasive species events in your area, check out our previous blog post (click here) to see what's happening in your region.




Invasive Species Week with CoCoast


This March, the Great British Non-Native Species Secretariat (GBNNSS) are hosting a national 'Invasive Species Week' from 23rd - 29th March; you can find more information on this event by clicking here.

Here at Capturing our Coast, we want to add to the search for invasive species in the marine environment... and we need your help!

For centuries, marine species have moved around the globe either by hitching a ride on the hulls of ships, as stowaways in ballast water, or by being deliberately introduced for commercial purposes. Some can have a positive effect and become a new food source for native species. Others thrive a bit too well and may be harmful to our native diversity by outcompeting them or by introducing disease; these are called invasive species.


Events Coming Up

To raise awareness and record the presence/absence of marine invasive species around the UK, our hubs from all corners of the country have been organising a mixture of events for 'Invasive Species Week', some exclusively for CoCoast registered volunteers and others that are open to the public of all ages; under 18's must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18 years.

* Due to differences in the tides around the UK coastline, some events cannot be held between the 23rd and 29th March – see below for events in your region!



  • Friday 30th March - Easter 'Egg' Hunt, Atlantic Bridge (Open Event)

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast Scotland team at:


North East - Newcastle

  • ​​Tuesday 27th March – Wine & Science Evening, The Dove Marine Laboratory Cullercoats (registered CoCoast volunteers only):

Dr Catherine Scott (Natural England) & Pippa Howarth (MSc, Newcastle University) - “Northumbria Coast Invasive Non-Native Species Monitoring Partnership Project”.

  • Sunday 29th April – Marine Invaders Species Search, St Mary’s Lighthouse: 09:30 – 11:00 (registered CoCoast volunteers only)
  • Monday 30th April – Marine Invaders Species Search, Whitburn: 10:00 – 11:30 (registered CoCoast volunteers only)

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast Northeast team at:


North East - Hull

  • TBC

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast Hull team at:


North Wales

  • Friday 27th April – Marine Invaders Species Search, Porth Cwyfan (Open Event - click here)
  • Saturday 28th April - Marine Invaders Species Search, Treborth (Open Event - click here)
  • Sunday 29th April - Marine Invaders Species Search, Beaumaris (Open Event - click here)

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast North Wales team at:



South Wales

  • Friday 16th March, Langland Bay, Gower 11:15 - 14:15 (registered CoCoast volunteers only)
  • Sunday 18th March, Black Rock, Dale, Pembrokeshire 11:30 - 14:30 (Open Event)
  • Wednesday 21st March, Wiseman's Bridge, Saundersfoot 13:15 - 16:15 (Open Event)

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast MCS team at:


South Coast

  • Tuesday 27th March – Marine Invaders Species Search, Portsmouth (Open Eventclick here)

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast South team at:


Southwest England

  • Wednesday 28th March – Marine Invaders Species Open Evening, MBA Plymouth (Open Eventclick here)
  • Thursday 29th March – Marine Invaders Species Search, Tinside Plymouth (Open Event click here)
  • Friday 30th March – Marine Invaders Species Search with the Three Bays Wildlife Group at Portholland, nr St. Austell (Volunteer-led; registered CoCoast volunteers only click here)
  • Saturday 31st March – Marine Invaders Species Search, Meadfoot Torbay (Open Event click here)
  • Friday 27th April - Quadrat Survey & Marine Invaders Species Searches, Kingsand (Registered CoCoast volunteers only click here)
  • Sunday 29th April - Marine Invaders Species Search, Mount Batten Plymouth (Volunteer-led; registered CoCoast volunteers only click here)
  • Sunday 29th April - Marine Invaders Species Search, Corbyn Head Torbay (Volunteer-led; registered CoCoast volunteers only click here)

For more information about these events, please contact the CoCoast Southwest team at:



Don't forget...

...that you don't have to join us at one of the above events to take part in our Marine Invaders timed searches!

If you want to survey your local coast, you can go whenever and wherever you like on any rocky shore, sandy beach or artificial shore (such as harbours).

Surveys take 10 minutes per species and all you have to do is choose a species to look for (or more if you fancy!), download the species identification guide(s), recording sheets and survey instructions from and get out searching; don’t forget - both the presence and absence of species are just as important to record and upload… so have fun!

(Image above shows the Creeping Sea Squirt, Perophroa japonica)



Marine Invaders So Far

We officially launched our 'Marine Invaders' timed searches in September 2017. 

To date, our volunteers (you amazing people!) have completed 327 individual searches around the UK with 32 confirmed species sightings, 11 of which have been of Japanese Wireweed (Sargssum muticum), closely followed by 8 confirmed sightings of Pacific Oysters (Crassostrea gigas). 

See our most recent map below to find out where your presence and absence data have been recorded and help us fill the gaps (data correct as of 28th Feb 2018):

CoCoast Lite!

Introducing 'CoCoast Lite'

CoCoast celebrated its second birthday in January! That’s two years of transect surveys, wine and science nights, beach cleans, barnacle counting, lugworm sperm searching and countless other coastal activities. As a community, you have achieved a huge amount. And there’s more to come… 

Do you struggle to find time to do a CoCoast survey? Can’t face the prospect of 10 whole quadrats? Or maybe you’re a weary super surveyor in a quadrat quandary? We have a solution for you!

CoCoast Lite is a way of contributing to the CoCoast general transect survey, without needing to complete 10 quadrats per transect.

We understand 10 quadrats is a lot, and can be overwhelming. However any data you submit can be used by our scientists, to increase our understanding of how marine life varies across the UK and how things are changing. So why not try a few and see how you get on?

For super surveyors that are completing 10 quadrats regularly, this may give you the opportunity to fit in a few more surveys and sky rocket your survey stats! 

Complete 1-3 quadrats (or more if you like!) using your chosen species pack and submit your data to be in for the chance to WIN exciting survey rewards including tickets to our CoCoast awards night! 

There are plenty of opportunities for you to join us on the shore and help us celebrate our birthday by completing a CoCoast Lite quadrat or two! Or if you just can’t wait to get surveying just head down to your local shore and give it a go!