Man-Made Structures

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The UK coastline has a variety of sea protection and coastal developments which create artificial habitats for marine species to live on and around. Man-Made structures can include seawalls, breakwaters, harbour walls, pontoons and piers, to mention a few. These can be made from a variety of materials not limited to wood, concrete, metal, as well as natural rock that has been put in place as a sea-defence.
This protocol can be followed on any intertidal man-made structures. Your structure may have only a vertical surface (e.g. a pier wall), or it may be made up of horizontal, vertical or sloping surfaces (e.g. a groyne or sea defence constructed of large, cement blocks). It is therefore important to give a clear description of the type of structure you have surveyed when you enter your data.

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Download a sheet to record your dataDownload a pribtable survey protocolDownload all species ID cards

Target Species list

Use the links below to download an information card for the species you would like to search for. Alternatively use the link above to download and browse the full selection of species.

Survey Protocol

This survey is based on 10 minute timed searches for individual non-native species. It is up to you which species, and how many species, you search for during your visit to the coast. Please complete a separate 10 minute search per species.

    1) Choose the non-native species you would like to search for.
    2) Print off the species card(s) and recording form(s) to take with you to the shore. Take a pencil, camera and a stopwatch or timer. Most mobile phones have camera and stopwatch facilities.
    3) Check the tide times in your local area to make sure you are surveying for species when the tide is lowest (going on shore an hour in advance of low tide is best).
    4) On the shore, read the species card and locate the appropriate area to search.
    5) Familiarise yourself with what the species looks like.
    6) Set a ten minute timer and begin searching for your chosen species.
    7) If you think you have found the species on your card - stop the timer - first ask yourself if it has all of the key features listed on the card. In bold are key identifying features which may differ from confusion species. Whether you are unsure or confident, take a photo of the species (referring to the species card for what to photograph) so we can confirm your record.
    8) Fill in the recording sheet whilst the timer is stopped. Please refer to the species card on how to record abundance.
    9) When you are ready, restart the timer and continue searching.
    10) If you do not find the species in the 10 minutes, circle “None” or zero in the box asking ‘Abundance’ Make sure that you have written the name of the species you were looking for on your sheet. If you have decided to search for more than one species, you can now move on to your next species. Please repeat steps 4-10 separately for each new species.
    11) Upload your data onto the website, with the photographs you have taken.

Remember, looking for a species and not finding it is just as important as finding it!

It is important that we do not contribute to the spread of these non-native species. Please look, record and photograph, but leave as found any species you suspect of being a non-native.