Seaweed vs Limpets

We need your help for Spring 2019!


A simple survey that requires you to record the abundance of large brown seaweed and the number and size of limpets using your CoCoast quadrat and a ruler. This includes a recording sheet, protocol and identification guide for fucoid seaweed.

Limpets, common molluscan grazers in the intertidal zone, are known to have an important role on rocky shores. Limpets graze on very young algae and can prevent them from growing into an algal canopy that shades and protects other animals and seaweed from light and desiccation. The amount of this algal canopy can play an important role in determining which animals and seaweeds thrive on the shore. Some years, there are lots of limpets and less algal canopy. Other years, there are less limpets and more algal canopy.


To take part in this survey you must be aged 18+


The survey runs from February to March and from September to October each year. We are now calling for people to get involved in Spring 2019! Surveys should be completed between February and the end of March.

North Wales Scotland South Wales North East Yorkshire South East South West
Trefadog Cullipool Langland Bay Cullercoats Runswick Kimmeridge Brixham Shoalstone
Cemlyn Bay Easdale Hunts Bay Beadnell Boggle Hole Portland Bill Kingsand
Trearddur Bay Craignish Dunraven Bay Cresswell South Bay Bembridge Looe
Porth Ysgaden Ganavan Bracelet Bay Boulmer Filey   Newquay Little Fistral
Porth Colmon Dunbeg   Seaham Selwick   Wembury Point
Porth Dinllean Port Seton         Polzeath
Porth Nobla Thortonloch          
Porth Swtan Dunstaffnage          
Porth Trwyn Port aChaobaill          
Porth Cwyfan            



The survey runs from February to March and from September to October each year. If you would like to get involved in Spring 2019, please contact for advice on where to survey!


The video below takes you through the survey step by step – we recommend you watch this video before heading out. Once you have watched it, your next challenge is picking a shore! Choose from the table above. We like to survey all our sites around the UK twice a year.

Once you have completed a survey, take a photo of the recording sheet (find in “Resources” below) and email it to

Any questions, email either or

Remember to look after your own safety on the shore by following the rocky shore survey guidelines here



Data from your hub and other hubs around the UK will be combined in order to find out if there are patterns in the balance between algae and limpets across the UK.


Watch the training video

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Other citizen science projects

Why not take the skills you have gained from CoCoast to other citizen science projects? Many of the CoCoast partners run other citizen science or volunteering projects you might be interested in – click on the links below for more information!

Beachwatch (MCS)
Big Seaweed Search (MCS)
Wildlife Sightings Programme (MCS)
SeaSearch (MCS)
Sea Champions (MCS)
Shore Things (MBA)
BioBlitz (MBA)
Sea Survey (MBA)
FreshWater Watch (EarthWatch)