Discover seaside soap operas during The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week

Barrie Wilkinson

Public asked to film mini coastal movie on their phones during National Marine Week, Saturday 24th July – Sunday 8th August

Staycations mean more of us are set to discover the delights of our shores and coastal waters, as we visit the seaside for a summer break. And The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week is celebrating the intriguing, weird and wonderful lives of shore dwellers and coastal citizens.

The Wildlife Trusts’ are asking people to celebrate our blue planet by making a one-minute coastal movie and posting it on Instagram or Twitter using #NationalMarineWeek; for the chance to be featured by The Wildlife Trusts on social media and win a prize. More details and T&Cs here.

Take a stroll on Lincolnshire’s golden sands, survey the strandline and watch the waves – and post your minute movie to celebrate the sea!

It’s not always easy to see but our sandy shores and sand dunes are home to a myriad of wildlife:

Hornwrack

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

Hornwrack
It washes up on the beach and looks like seaweed but hornwrack is worth a closer look. This unassuming strandline stranding is actually a home. Think of it like a tower block for thousands of tiny animals known as zooids. If you look closely at the hornwrack, you will see it is a mesh of little boxes; each of which is home to an individual zooid. The zooids feed on microscopic marine algae using special feeding tentacles.

Pipefish
Living in the shallows is an animal that looks like a worm but it related to the seahorse. Worm pipefish have thin bodies about 15cm in length. The only resemblance to a fish is one very small, delicate dorsal fin, which sits behind the head and extends for a few centimetres. A close inspection reveals an upturned snout similar to a seahorse. That’s not the only similarity to a seahorse. Like the seahorse, it is the male pipefish which carries and cares for the eggs; carrying them stuck to a small groove on the outside of their tummies.

Harbour porpoise

Niki Clear

Seals and porpoises
With a keen eye looking out over the waves, you may spot some of the largest animals that live in our seas. Look for the heads of inquisitive seals bobbing out of the water and the small fins of harbour porpoises as they dive back beneath the waves.

Harbour porpoises do come close to shore. If you do see one, keep quiet and listen. You may hear their loud “chuff” noise as they come to the surface for air, this gives them their nickname “puffing pig”.

Remember to follow the seashore code and keep our beaches and nature reserves special for the wildlife that lives there.
Leave everything as you find it. Always put any plants, animals or even rocks found on the shore back where you found them; never take living animals home with you. Don’t disturb any seals or birds that are on the beach – they could lose valuable feeding time or desert their young. Take your litter home, and check whether dogs are allowed on the beach that you’re planning to visit.

Checklist for your seaside trip:

  • Bucket and spade.
  • Barefeet for the sand, beach shoes for paddling – there could be spined weever fish and stinging jellyfish in the shallows.
  • Tide timetables or local knowledge can prevent accidents - do your research in advance.
  • As well as the sun cream and hat, remember an extra layer, the Lincolnshire coast can be bracing even when the sun is shining.
  • Back-up plan – the coast could be busy this summer, have a few alternatives in mind in case the car park is full when you arrive.

Need some help to identify the creatures you've found on the beach? Check out our beachcombing guide