Make a positive difference to our seas as part of your John Muir Award.

John Muir Award

Every year, John Muir Award participants make a positive difference to coasts around the UK. Here are some examples of activities you could carry out for the Award’s Conserve Challenge to inspire you.

We’d love to hear about what you’re doing. Please send your photos and a description to [email protected] and tag us @mcsuk on social media.

Conduct a Big Seaweed Search

Contribute to a real scientific research project run by MCS and the Natural History Museum by searching for seaweeds.

We need people to record the distribution of 14 seaweed species found on the UK’s coastlines to help us research rising sea temperatures and the impact of ocean acidification (the sea becoming more acidic as a result of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air). Your findings will contribute to an important dataset that helps us monitor the effects of environmental change on Britain’s sea life.

You can do this activity on any seashore around the UK. All shores are important for the research, but you will find more seaweeds on shores with hard structures such as rocks, sea walls and piers.

Visit Big Seaweed Search to find out more.

Seaweed from the Big Seaweed Search at Wembury 2016 Anna Starley

Credit: Anna Starley

Clean up your chosen place

80% of litter in the sea comes from the land. Even if you don’t live near the sea, cleaning up an inland area will contribute to the health of the ocean.

You could record the litter you find on our data form and upload it to the national Source to Sea database. We will use the data collected to help us campaign for change - data collected in previous years has helped make the case for the 5p carrier bag charges across the UK, and helps inform our campaigns for Deposit Return Schemes for all types of drinks containers.


Credit: Aled Llywelyn

Organise a beach clean

If you’re over 18 you can run a beach clean on your own or for members of your community.

On our beach cleans, we not only clear up rubbish, but we survey the litter we find. We ask you to record the litter items found over a 100-metre stretch of beach, and this data becomes part of our national database and is used to create positive changes in our marine environment. For example, it was used when lobbying government for the 5p carrier bag charge.

Visit organise a beach clean and follow our easy steps to cleaning up your chosen beach.


Credit: Aled Llywelyn

Campaign for our ocean

Help us fight for a cleaner, better-protected ocean by running a campaign as part of your John Muir Award. You can raise awareness at your school, in your family or community and take practical action to help the ocean. Have a look at our latest campaigns and join us in our fight to save our seas.

Check out our campaigning tips help you to run a campaign as part of your John Muir Award.


Credit: Aled Llywelyn


You could organise a Big Blue Day at your school, college or workplace, hold an event, sell items or take on a challenge.

As a charity, our work relies on generous donations and fundraising from people just like you. Whatever you do, the money you raise will help us fight for our ocean and defend marine habitats and species. Visit our fundraising page to see how you can get involved in the fight to save our seas.

Our fundraising tips will help you fundraise as part of your John Muir Award.

Allie Dart Swim

Credit: Allie Dart

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.

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