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About The Shore Thing

This unique project gives volunteer groups and school/ higher students the opportunity to take part in 'REAL' science to help monitor the impact of rising sea temperatures on rocky shore species.


Close up of a velvet swimming crab

To generate records of marine wildlife by facilitating intertidal biological surveys at sites around the British Isles, and to make the results available to all on the Internet. In addition we aim to raise awareness of marine science and the marine environment amongst the participants and the wider community.


  • To create a national database of verified and validated intertidal species for the UK.
  • To engage schools and volunteer groups through fieldwork in marine conservation and raise awareness of marine issues.
  • To strengthen the links between education and marine research in the UK.

Educational Justification

The Shore Thing can be used to teach many aspects of A Level/Higher Biology, Geography and Environmental Studies. The precise syllabus details and course guidelines vary between awarding bodies. However, all include the following topics that can be taught through the Shore Thing: Ecosystems, ecology, biodiversity, conservation, data handling and coursework.

A more detailed guide to intergrating Shore Thing surveys into the syllabuses of the UK can be found in the Teachers' Pack, where it is accompanied by additional notes for teachers, classroom activities, and background information. Follow this link to go to the Teachers' Pack download page.

Who is involved in The Shore Thing

The project was developed by MarLIN at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, in collaboration with Dove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle. A thorough pilot project helped to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery for three years. The value of the project has been recognised by the statutory agencies; Scottish Natural Heritage, Countryside Council for Wales/ Natural Resources Wales, and Natural England funded project in 2010 - 2014.The Shore Thing project is now led by the Marine Biological Association's education team with funding from Scottish Natural Heritage. We are also very grateful to all of our volunteer surveyors and survey coordinators around the country who continue to run surveys and submit their records to help maintain the project.

Find out more about our partners and funders here