National Marine Week 2021

Porcelain Crab_Mark Camp

There are wonders to be found – buried in sparkling sand, under the greens, pinks and browns of weed in the rockpools, and beneath the shining ripples of our coastal waters. During The Wildlife Trusts’ summer celebration of all things coastal –National Marine Week – Cornwall Wildlife Trust is offering people of all ages the chance to join experts and volunteers as they seek out marine treasures. There’s so much to discover, from shells on the beach to dolphins and whales swimming by.

Cornwall’s coastline is the longest of any county in the country, surrounding us to the north, south and west. We all realise how it strongly influences our climate and weather and supports our economy, as well as improving people’s mood and sense of well-being whenever we visit. And yet, even though some of us are regular sea users, shore walkers, beachcombers or surfing dudes, many residents of Cornwall rarely venture to the outer edges of the county.

For National Marine Week, Cornwall Wildlife Trust is inviting more of us to try rockpooling, snorkelling, beach exploring, and sea-watching, plus beach games and activities for children too. All activities are led by marine staff from the Trust (including popular marine experts Matt Slater and Abby Crosby), as well as experienced local volunteers from Cornwall’s local Marine Conservation Groups, Shoresearch, Seaquest Southwest, and the recently completed Your Shore Beach Rangers project.

Participants will find that the deeper we look into the nature of our coastline, the more wondrous the detail of each: sharp-toothed shannies, predatory dog whelks, suckered starfish and squirting sea cucumbers, to name just a few rockpool stars.

Another important feature of National Marine Week is that it contributes to citizen science: every sighting counts. By recording what we see, as well as learning about coastal and marine species, we also contribute to science and conservation by providing crucial knowledge and evidence.

Rockpool explorations

Join experts to explore ever-changing rockpool life and find out what you’ve found – you never know what may have been washed in by the tide.

Snorkel safaris

Immerse yourself in a whole new world. If you’re aged over 9 and a confident sea swimmer, grab a mask and watch seashells and crabs crawling underwater, or follow fish in their rocky or sandy underwater cities and meadows.

Seawatches

Bring some binoculars to scan the seas for marine mammals: dolphins, harbour porpoises, seals, even whales may pass by. Other sightings may include the dark fins of enormous and strange-looking sunfish or the bobbing heads of grey seals.

On the beach and shores

Young families can make marine badges and sand animals, and identify their strandline finds. Other people may prefer a guided walk to look at coastal bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

National Marine Week 2021 events, 24th July to 1st August

Join a National Whale and Dolphin Watch, a snorkel session, guided walks, or family-friendly marine explorations. See HERE for full details of each event.