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On the beach - get involved by the seaside

Make the most of your coast! Kids or grown-ups, precious holidays or every day, relaxing or thrill-seeking - there are countless ways to enjoy the best of Britain's beaches. Here are some tips and things to do when you're down by the sea:

Before you dip your toes

Want to know what you're swimming in? Our Good Beach Guide tells you where the cleanest bathing waters are around the UK coast. You'll also find information on weather, travel, lifeguards, facilities and activities at over 1,000 UK beaches. We only give MCS Recommended status to beaches with the best water quality.

Explore the shore

Do you know your barnacles from your limpets or your hornwrack from your bladderwrack? If you like scouring the shoreline for bits of driftwood and shells or have ever wondered at the natural treasures the tide brings in but aren’t quite sure what everything is, then our Seashore Safari Guide will reveal some of the secrets of the strandline.

Report your wildlife sightings

Keep your eyes peeled at the coast and you might just spot something really special. If you are lucky enough to see any basking sharks, marine turtles or jellyfish around the UK, we want to know about it. Find out how to report your wildlife sightings and contribute to our scientific research.

Litter litter litter

Sadly, you're also likely to see some rubbish on the beach. Marine litter is a huge problem around the UK and globally - but you can make a big difference. Our national beach cleaning and surveying programme, called Beachwatch, is now in its 21st year. Find out how you can volunteer at a beach clean near you or perhaps even organise one.

The Big Seaweed Search!

When you visit the coast, take part in our Big Seaweed Search, in partnership with the Natural History Museum, to help us understand how our marine environments are changing.

Capturing our Coast

Help make history by being partof one of the UK's largest coastal marine citizen science projects. You'll be trained in intertidal marine life identification, and simple survey techniques to help us find out more about the species that live on our shores, how these ecosystems respond to change, and how we can protect them. Register and find out more.


Heading to the beach this autumn and winter? If so, please keep an eye out for signs of passion in the lugworm population and take part in Spermwatch!


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