The Shore Thing is an initiative of the Marine Biological Association, working with schools and community groups around the British Isles to collect information on rocky sea shore life.
It consists of a structured survey with quadrats along transects to ensure that the same spots are surveyed in successive years.
Coastwise has supported this initiative for 10 years at Lee Bay and Abbotsham. These are two different habitats, with Lee being a protected bay and Abbotsham an exposed rocky plateau.
Lee Bay is more accessible to Coastwise volunteers surveyors, with Leader, Pip Jollands, briefing the team (Right, top).
The team was joined for both surveys by Cat Oliver, the newly-appointed North Devon AONB Coastal Creatures Project Officer. Cat brings a wealth of marine and public outreach experience, and was an invaluable and expert asset on the surveys.
All algae and animals in each quadrat are recorde on standardised forms, which have additional space for unexpected finds (Right, middle).
The different environment at Abbotsham is apparent as the transects are set out (Right, bottom).
Shore Thing surveying is and enjoyable and useful way for the interested lay person to contribute to a scientific database that informs our understanding of how habitats and our coast in general are changing over time.