Explore the shore this National Marine Week!

From the comfort of your own home, or out on the beach, help us discover and celebrate our wonderful shore and seas
Image of Beached Art at St Bees 2018

Beached Art at St Bees 2018

National Marine Week runs from 25 July to 9 August 2020 – a full fortnight to take advantage of the tides - and we’re running a range of live (socially distanced) and online events. Why not join us in celebrating our fin-tastic seaside wildlife?

We can’t hold our popular Beached Art event at St Bees this year – but together with other Wildlife Trusts in the North West (Lancashire and Cheshire), we’re launching the biggest Beached Art sand sculpture competition ever!

All you need to do is head to your local beach (or even a sand pit in your garden), get creative and send us a picture of your #BeachedArt creations. So grab your bucket and spade, and get ready to have fun in the sun (not guaranteed), sea and sand!

The winners – as judged by our independent panel – will receive:

  • 1st Prize - Grey seal adoption pack, a plastic free goodie bag & story trail collection
  • 2nd Prize - Rockpooling kit and a plastic free goodie bag & & story trail collection
  • 3rd Prize - Plastic free goodie bag & & story trail collection

Enter the sand sculpture competition here.  

Another exciting event running over both weeks (25 July to 9 August) is our Coastal Nature Challenge. We're on a mission to spot and record as many different coastal wildlife species as possible this National Marine Week! We’re challenging people up and down the coast to get out and look for wildlife on their local coastline.

Whether that’s searching for shells on the strandline, looking into crevices and rockpools, exploring the critters that live in our mudflats, or discovering flowers in the sand dunes - we want to know what you see and where you see it!

When you sign up you’ll be sent details of how to use the iNaturalist app and submit sightings to our project, spotter sheets, and our coastal code of conduct. No special knowledge or skills are required - we’ll provide you with everything you need to make it easy and fun. Sign up to the Coastal Nature Challenge here

This year we’re offering a great new family event for National Marine Week: Dune Detectives on Friday 7 August, from 10.00am to 12:30pm at South Walney Nature Reserve near Barrow. It’s the chance to take part in a socially-distanced ‘bioblitz’, to help find and record as many wildlife species as you can.  

You’ll meet us on the nature reserve to receive your bioblitz pack and can then explore the walking route around the reserve and through the dunes, using your spotter sheets and maps to help you along the way. From butterflies, to wildflowers and from birds to grey seals – you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled and look really closely, there’s lots of fascinating wildlife to discover!

This free self-led event is suitable for all. Limited spaces are available and booking is required. Following current guidelines, strict regulations have been put in place for your own health and safety and enjoyment at the event. Join the Dune Detectives here.  

If you’d rather take part in National Marine Week from home, why not join our free online webinar, A Journey Through the Dunes, at South Walney Nature Reserve on Tuesday 28 July at 6.00pm? Healthy sand dunes are becoming increasingly scarce, putting risk upon the wildlife that has adapted to live there. This is a chance to find about our new Dynamic Dunescapes project, set up to save and rejuvenate these precious habitats along the Cumbrian coast, and about the special wildlife that lives there. You’ll also hear about much-loved grey seal colony at South Walney. Book on A Journey Through the Dunes here.  

Go to the Living Seas North West website for more ideas for celebrating our wonderful shore and seas, including:

  • Keep the kids occupied with the new DIY Shore Life Spotter Guide
  • Top tips for making the most of the coast this summer, rockpooling guides and more
  • Information on our amazing marine wildlife