Celebrate National Marine Week

Harry Hogg © Bottlenose dolphin leaping from water

The Wildlife Trusts across the UK are celebrating seaside superheroes from July 23 to Aug 7 for National Marine Week. This year’s theme shines a light on the extraordinary sea creatures and plants which are helping to fight climate change and water pollution or have amazing powers to help them survive. 

Thresher shark, native oyster, beadlet anemone, cockles, bottlenose dolphin and grayling butterflies, are identified as our coastal superheroes. As well as others, such as: 

  • Salt marsh on the coast of Essex: Superpower – carbon storage 
  • Native oyster on the west coast of Scotland: Superpower – water cleaning 
  • Sea slug off the southwest coast: Superpower – solar power 
  • Phosphorescent sea pen living on the north-west’s muddy shores: Superpower – glows blue-green 
  • Curled octopus in the coastal waters of North Wales: Superpower – invisibility 
Celebrate National Marine Week

Picture courtesy of marknthomasimages.co.uk

Incredible Sea Creatures

As an island nation, the UK has 17,800 km of windswept coastlines that are never more than 80 miles from any location in the UK. Join The Wildlife Trusts at the seaside this summer and spot incredible sea creatures. You can try rock pool rambles or help with a beach clean. The latter helps to protect marine wildlife and there are many free events on offer in July and August. 

Celebrate National Marine Week

Picture courtesy of Mat Arney.

Top Events To Celebrate National Marine Week 

  • Join Ulster Wildlife for a free training session to develop your coastal marine wildlife ID skills. This will also help you contribute to marine data recording. 
  • Join marine biologists and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust on a rock pool ramble. Here you will explore the rocky shore looking for starfish, crabs, fish and anemones. 
  • Join the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and its Waves of Waste team to give Scarborough North beach a big tidy up. It’s a very important job as cleaning rubbish from the beach helps to protect marine wildlife. 

Picture courtesy of Matt Slater, Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

“Precious gift from nature”

Liz Bonnin, president of The Wildlife Trusts, says:  

“Our marine environment is simply extraordinary: a stunning interconnected network of habitats with species living in finely-tuned balance with each other, together contributing to the health of the planet in a myriad of ways – from regulating weather patterns and the climate, to maintaining productive food webs.

“To witness what nature is capable of is incredibly humbling, and I have never been more content than when by the sea – of course this sense of wellbeing is another precious gift from nature. As custodians of the planet, it is our responsibility to cherish and protect our oceans so that as they are allowed to thrive, in turn we humans can thrive.” 

“Opportunity to get involved”  

Dr Lissa Batey, head of marine conservation at The Wildlife Trusts, says:  

“We want people to enjoy coastal wildlife watching while heading to the beach this summer and to have fun searching for our fantastic marine superheroes. Please be careful not to disturb birds, seals and other wild animals by keeping your distance and dogs on short leads. 

“The free seaside activities are an opportunity to get involved with the work of The Wildlife Trusts, learn about how to protect the amazing creatures that live around the coast, while relaxing to the sound of the sea lapping against the shore on holiday.” 

Celebrate National Marine Week

Find out about National Marine Week here. 

Find out about a giant sea goddess that’s making big strides highlighting awareness of caring for our oceans here.

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.