Coming soon: Big Seaweed Search

Family looking for seaweeds in a rockpool

At a glance

Identify and record seaweeds.

Type of activity: Outdoors

Who can take part? Everyone

When? All year round

Where? UK seashore

How long will it take? About one hour

Cost: Free

The Big Seaweed Search is changing. We've updated the identification guide and strengthened the science research goals. The project relaunches in June in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society.

Why we are doing the project

The Big Seaweed Search first launched in 2009. Hundreds of people took part and the data gathered, alongside other research, show that the distribution of seaweeds around the UK is changing.

Now we aim to scale up the survey to collect thousands of new observations and to focus on key environmental issues that need more research.

These issues are:

  • rising sea temperature rise
  • the arrival of non-native species of seaweed
  • ocean acidification (the sea becoming more acidic)

Home to a particularly high diversity of species, the UK is a special place for seaweeds. Unfortunately, seaweeds are not as popular as flowers, butterflies or birds, so fewer people make and submit observations of them.

As a result, we know comparatively little about the abundance and distribution of seaweed species, and how this may change over time.

Understanding more about seaweeds is critical to protecting marine environments.

How to take part

When the survey relaunches, the new instruction booklet and identification guide will be available for you to download and print at home. Or you can request your own hard copy.

Check back in June to find out more about the new survey, or email us to register your interest.

Project team

  • Prof Juliet Brodie, Life Sciences Research Chair
  • Lucy Robinson, Citizen Science Programme Manager
  • Justine Millard (Marine Conservation Society)
  • Peter Richardson (Marine Conservation Society)
  • Richard Harrington (Marine Conservation Society)

In partnership with:

Marine Conservation Society

Get the latest updates from our citizen science team