The Marine Project: shore surveys on the Roseland
Roseland’s coastline has some wonderful rocky shores where a great diversity of marine plants and animals live, each species adapted for life in a particular habitat.
Broadly the aim of the Marine Project is to encourage enjoyment and learning on these shores, with surveys and other events which focus on the plants and animals which live between the high and low tide marks.
A small group carried out two annual seaweed surveys on a permanent transect along a stretch of rocky shore at Porthcurnick, during 2017 and 2018. This was part of the national citizen science project, The Big Seaweed Search, set up to monitor the distribution of 14 target species. The surveys help to monitor the distribution of these species around the UK – evidence shows that it could be affected by warming seas, ocean acidification and an increasing number of non-native seaweed species.
We are keen to get more volunteers involved in the surveys during 2019 and to search for animals as well as seaweeds. This is best done by taking part in Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Shoresearch Project. Shoresearch is a user-friendly and fun way of exploring the shore; four different survey methods are involved and the species found are recorded and held at ERCCIS, Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
On low water spring tides our volunteers will be helped at a couple of events by CWT’s Marine Awareness Officer, Matt Slater, who can train us to identify the animals and plants and to become more familiar with the survey methods. Once we have better ID skills, we can start to survey the shores of the Roseland on our own.
That’s the plan – we look forward to many Wild Roseland enthusiasts getting involved!