Twenty members of Coastwise took part in the monitoring session at Westward Ho! beach on 5th July.
We split into two groups to conduct shore counts from the upper to lower shore, using our own version of the wildlife trusts Shoresearch form. Seventy species were recorded as having been confidently identified and will be submitted to irecord/National Biodiversity Record, together with photographs.
Identification of some species is more of a challenge, particularly some of the smaller algae, the few sponges, some cryptic ascidians and the frequently seen anenone Sagartia (pictured R) which invariably conceals the base of its tentacles, its most diagnostic feature, from view.
We work diligently on these sessions, though they are social too, because we want to learn as well as put local marine life on the map. We aim to do them on several representative beaches and repeat them regularly, hopefully adding species as we learn more.