After our pilot during Biodiversity Week, we would like to invite  you to participate in a Coastwatch Nature and Climate Survey to record what you find on the shore between World Oceans Day  and the longest day in the year (8th to 21st June 2020). The challenge is – can we with extension cover all coastal countries and get to the 100 sites snapshot survey we dreamt about? This is addressed to Coastwatchers within 20km of an estuary or seashore. It's a truncated version of our autumn survey with focus on nature questions, plus special findings. We want to analyse results immediately so we ask to please input your results as soon as possible.

  • Who? Family Units and up to 4 friends who can practise social distancing in a coastal county, or within 20k of an estuary or seashore.
  • When? From World Oceans Day (June 8th) to the longest day of the year (June 21st).
  • Where? All Ireland

Scout: before carrying out the Nature and Climate survey, would you go for a ‘nature scout’ really alertly and quietly to see if anyone is nesting or otherwise needs peace down on that shore you know? If you come across a special find like a Ringed plover trying to distract you, or a some other vulnerable nature, take a note and walk on without disturbing or alerting predators.

The scout activity has been planned (i) so you don’t disturb nesting birds if doing a Coastwatch biodiversity survey afterwards with more people (ii) to record any nesting, resting or feeding animals which may have moved in since COVID reduced human activity and (iii) to consider action to protect wildlife from disturbance from people who are likely to flock back to the coast very soon.

The COVID frame

This is set in a frame where everyone has to be extra planned and alert.  As usual unless you always walk on your own, its better to survey in pairs or family groups.

Before surveying, it is very importat to make sure that the area is clean with no signs of sewage and that there are few people around (practice physical distancing!).

In the Republic of Ireland, you can travel up to 20km from home from June 8th onward. Refresh your understanding of government guidance on social distancing and precautions to take (see official information).



The Coastwatch Nature and Climate survey is similar to our annual autumn survey, going out at low tide to check 500m of shore, but with no site bookings and only one survey page. It includes nature questions, introduces climate change indicators and carbon sinks, finishing with a question on (near)shore marine features or traditional uses which might be included in Ireland's First Marine Spatial Plan.

Either print out the one page form to use in fieldwork and then input the data online at home, or input directly online using the input form. Photos or short videos of your findings can also be submitted. Some have already been received in our pilot phase -- like this kelp forest video.

Below you will find all relevant documents and links. If you have any questions, email

Please, if possible, submit your results immediately after carrying out the survey (by June 22nd).

Overall Coordination: or +353 (0) 868111684

Step 1. Find and area and plan your survey

Go to the map to choose a survey area to scout/survey. Zoom in and click the blue/white lines denoting a 500 meter survey unit; the ID code will pop up.

Check the tides and plan your survey to start about 1 or 1.5 hours before low tide.

Step 2. Download the materials and go out to survey

Step 3. Data return – submit the results of your work online

Please, submit data for each survey unit (500m) individually.

NEW!!!!! Send us your pictures/videos - You can also send them by email to

By submitting content you agree that it can be used by Coastwatch in publications.We may use your photos or videos in our reports, informative materials, website and social media, crediting you as the author (unless you specify otherwise).