Westward Go!....... survey the Westward Ho! rocky shore.

On a brilliant July day 10 members of Coastwise North Devon spent two happy hours surveying shore life of the rocks as part of the new Wildlife Trusts' Shoresearch survey.

Coastwise is really pleased to be able to contribute to the Shoresearch survey.  In addition, members will benefit from from the systematic approach and will learn much more about our shores. The verdict so far - it's been great fun sharing what we find with one another confident that it will contribute to a better national picture of marine biodiversity.

DWT's Coral Smith has helped and encouraged Coastwise all the way and got everyone off to a good start with the first survey a  month ago at Hele Bay.  Members  have completed two others since, with more to come.  Coastwise survey leaders will be participating  in the Wildlife Trusts' training sessions this summer to learn more about survey methods  and how best to use them on North Devon's challenging rocky shores, the object being to  get useful  marine conservation data.

At Westward Ho! the surveyors worked in teams of twos and threes to walk a defined area recording the 40 or so species they found over an hour On this occasion the most readily identified were the common small animals - anemones,  snails, crabs and fish but the seaweeds proved more difficult, several requiring further study. This was followed by a timed species search, 20 minutes looking for specific plants and animals chosen by Shoresearch as either alien species not native to our shores or climate change indicators, just a few examples were of each found as expected.

An excellent afternoon at the seaside was rounded off by the discovery nearby by Rob Jutsum of a beached Starry Smooth Hound, identified, described and photographed by Robin Shrubsole on the  Coastwise facebook page.

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