Things to Remember

We really value your participation in this survey. We want you to enjoy your time out and about at the coast as much as possible, but staying safe is of the utmost importance. We want your data, but not at any cost! Here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts to consider when searching for invasive species at the coast.

Do check the weather forecast and the tides before you head out.

A drop of rain won’t hurt, but is never wise to visit the coast if stormy weather or rough seas are predicted. Abandon your survey if the weather changes suddenly. Plan your visit so that you reach the shore about one hour before low tide is predicted for your locality. Tide tables can be found at the Admiralty Easytide website and are free of charge for seven days in advance.

Don’t go alone.

Surveying with friends and family is always more fun anyway. Ensure someone knows where you are going, and when you are expected back. Bring a mobile phone. If nobody shares your passion for invasive species, at least have a ‘buddy’ in view at the top of the shore while you conduct your search.

Do come prepared!

Dress in warm waterproof layers, that you can ‘unpeel’ if you get too warm. It is always colder at the coast than expected due to bracing breezes. Never go barefoot, and always make sure your boots have a good grip. Don’t forget a hat, sunscreen and supplies of water for hot days.

Stay vigilant.

This means watching what the weather and tides are doing. Ensure you familiarise yourself with the shore and know the exit points. Tides can creep in behind you, into low-lying areas, cutting you off unexpectedly while you are deep in ‘search mode’.

Trips and hazards.

Only go in areas where you are confident and capable of accessing. Rocky shores are notoriously slippy places. Take care when walking across areas covered with seaweed, and do not try running or jumping across boulders. Walk carefully with your hands out of pockets to brace yourself if you fall. On piers, marinas and groynes, do not take any unnecessary risks such as surveying from a point of height. Sandy and muddy shores can have areas of very sticky, soft mud that can be extremely hazardous – never venture out onto mud that is proving too yielding and soft where there is a risk that you might get trapped.

Protect the habitat.

When turning back seaweed or stones in your search, ensure you turn these back gently when finished. Otherwise you risk destroying the very habitat you want to conserve. Don’t collect live specimens, only photos.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact a project officer at your local CoCoast hub.