DO you love rockpool rambling or coastal wildlife spotting? Have you spotted seals or porpoises on our local coastline and wondered where to report your sightings?

Somerset Wildlife Trust has just launched its new Somerset’s Wilder Coast project funded by the HPC Community Fund and we are currently on the lookout for communities, schools, businesses, and individual volunteers to help us protect our incredible coastline.

One of the project aims is organising citizen science coastal surveys to help build up a clearer picture of what we have, so that we are better able to protect it from impacts like coastal developments and climate change.
We are already carrying out rocky and muddy shores ShoreSearch surveys.

Somerset County Gazette: Shore Search in WatchetShore Search in Watchet

The surveys take place from March to October from Porlock to Brean.
New volunteers need no previous experience.

We also run monthly sea mammals surveys with the Sea Watch Foundation, in particular on the lookout for our elusive local porpoise population.

You can sign up to all these surveys on the Somerset Wildlife Trust website under the What's On tab.

We also want to develop even more coastal surveys for groups like coastal plants and insects that live in and around our salt marshes, shingle ridges, and sand dunes.

We have already worked with the Berrow Conservation Group setting up surveys which they carry out throughout the year on Berrow Dunes, recording plants, freshwater invertebrates, birds, bats, butterflies, and bumble bees and we would be keen to set up similar community-led survey programmes at other coastal locations.

This project supports the Trust’s new ‘Team Wilder’ strategy to get 1 in 4 of Somerset residents actively engaged with nature by 2030 and our Nature Recovery goals which aim to return 30 per cent of land and 30 per cent of sea to a favourable condition.

So if you are passionate about saving our own special patch of coast and want to get stuck with any of our coastal surveys or if you’d be interested in setting up new surveys then please get in touch with our Somerset’s Wilder Coast project manager – Mark Ward

Written by Mark Ward, Somerset’s Wilder Coast project manager