Children litter picking at the Great British Beach Clean on Rottingdean beach 2020 Billy Barraclough

Citizen science is when people, like you, gather scientific data and share it with us.

This data includes how much litter you find on a beach clean, what type of seaweed you spot at the seaside and what animals you see at the UK coast.

The data our volunteers have collected has been used to:

  • Introduce the 5p carrier bag charge
  • Create laws around the use of microbeads
  • Properly label wet wipes as unflushable
  • Campaign for a Deposit Return Scheme
Plastic litter in the ocean Rich Carey

Credit: Rich Carey via Shutterstock

We use the data you collect and share with us to understand what is happening with our ocean and create campaigns to make change.

Without this data we wouldn't be able to prove that there were problems at sea and our arguments wouldn't be backed by science. It's a key part of our work and you can be part of it!

Whether you're interested in beach cleaning with your friends and family, surveying seaweeds or spotting animals such as turtles and jellyfish on our shores, we have something for everyone. We'd love for you to get your school or group involved too.

What we found at the Great British Beach Clean...


litter items found per 100m of beach surveyed at last year's Great British Beach Clean



of beach cleans last year found face masks and PPE



drop in plastic bags found on UK beaches since 5p charge was introduced

This project is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund Logo

Co-funded by the European Union.

Life logo