Maintaining social distance at the beach

Erin O'Neill By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 20 March 2020

Thinking about the environment could help lift our moods and contribute to improving our mental health which may be under a strain just now. The health benefits of the sea and other ‘blue spaces’ are well documented - being by the coast can help with anxiety and stress, as well as making you feel more connected to nature.

Footprint

In our survey 75% of people who had visited the coast in the last year said they feel better just knowing that the coast and sea and all the plants and animals living there are thriving. But please remember, if you’re planning to go to the beach solo, do so safely and in line with current government advice regarding the coronavirus.

Read on for our tips for solo activities.

Go on a seaweed search

Contribute to important research by recording seaweed species found on your local shore. We want to know more about the seaweed species found in UK waters, identifying exactly where they are found and how this may change over time. If you’re heading to the coast, you can use one of our guides to help you to fill in a recording form.

Seaweed

Do a solo nurdle hunt

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Billions are used each year to make nearly all of our plastic products, but many are spilt by industry and end up washing up on our shores. We want to find out more about where nurdles end up, and you can help by recording your nurdle sightings and submitting your data.

Nurdles

Try an isolation beach clean

While our events and group beach cleans have been cancelled, we encourage everyone who is taking a trip to the beach to continue helping out the environment in a safe manner. Do your own solo beach clean, but remember to wear gloves and regularly wash your hands. It’s important we don’t all forget the pollution problems facing our seas amongst the chaos – plus, time spent helping our environment is great for keeping our spirits up. Find out more from #2minutebeachclean.

Newgale beach

Explore the rockpools

If you can do so safely, rockpooling is a great way to discover the weird and wonderful marine species that live on our doorstep. Remember to make sure you don’t get yourself into any tricky situations – especially if you’re planning a solo trip - be mindful of the tide patterns and don’t end up getting stuck! Use our helpful guide to identify the things you find.

Starfish

Look out for marine wildlife

We want to hear about the marine wildlife you spot at the coast and at sea, especially basking sharks, marine turtles and jellyfish in UK and Irish waters. The data we collect will go on to help our scientists come up with solutions to protect our precious marine life. If you spot any of these species, you can report your sightings here.

Compass Jellyfish - Abercastle

Remember, if you’re planning on visiting the beach please do so safely, and within the current government advice on social distancing. If you’re going solo, tell someone where you’re headed, bring a phone with plenty of charge and check that there will be signal at your destination.

Actions you can take