Unlocking the secrets of our seaweeds to track change on British seashores.

The Big Seaweed Search invites you to contribute to real scientific research from the Natural History Museum and the Marine Conservation Society. We need people like you to search for seaweeds all around the British Isles, to help us better understand and protect this vitally important habitat. At the same time you can enjoy exploring the coast with your friends or family.

Why seaweeds?

The British Isles is globally important for seaweeds, being home to more than 650 species. Seaweeds create the underwater structure and habitat that provides shelter and food for thousands of marine creatures, such as urchins and fish.

Seaweeds support commercial fisheries, are used in foods, cosmetics and medicines, and protect our coasts by reducing wave action and storm damage. Because of this economic impact, it’s important for us to monitor them so we can understand and sustainably manage these vital resources.

Changing seas

The Big Seaweed Search will focus on three key environmental changes: sea temperature rise, ocean acidification, and the spread of non-native species. We are asking you to search for 14 seaweeds, the distribution and abundance of which may be affected by these changes.

How to take part

Visit any seashore in the UK and follow the instructions in the survey guide to search for the 14 seaweeds included in this research. The Natural History Museum has now re-opened but we have limited capacity to send out hard copies of the Big Seaweed Search survey pack, please consider downloading and printing your own guide and recording form.