National Marine Week 2021: what’s on and wildlife to spot

Explore Britain's spectacular coastline this summer and celebrate the wonderful seaside wildlife of our shores this National Marine Week. Here's our guide on the best activities and events to join.

Grey seal

In the UK, we’re never more than 70 miles from the coast, and the Wildlife Trust’s National Marine Week is a celebration of the wonderful seaside wildlife we have here in Britain, and with more of us enjoying holidays in the UK this year, there’s more opportunity than ever to get involved and discover what the country’s coastline has to offer.

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From rockpool rambles to snorkel safaris and beach cleans, there are plenty of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Here’s our guide to the best events to visit for National Marine Week 2021.

When is National Marine Week 2021?

In 2021 National Marine Week takes place from 24th July to 8th August 2021 and celebrates the varied seaside wildlife around the UK.

This year The Wildlife Trusts are asking people to make a one-minute video celebrating the shore and the creatures that live there, and post it to Instagram or Twitter using #NationalMarineWeek — you will have the chance to be featured by The Wildlife Trusts on social media and win a prize.

Boy looking into a rockpool

Best events and activities taking place across the UK for National Marine Week

Sand dune minibeast hunt, Lancashire: 30th July

Take your mini ones on a minibeast hunt in the Flyde sand dunes with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, discovering moths, caterpillars, ladybirds, beetles, spiders, and more. lancswt.org.uk

Sand dunes at Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. © Louise Addison/Getty.
Sand dunes at Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. © Louise Addison/Getty

Seaside safari, Yorkshire: 30th July

Climb aboard a specially adapted ex-military 4×4 truck for an exciting adventure at Spurn National Nature Reserve, where knowledgable guides will discuss the area’s natural, military, and maritime history. Also included is a trip to the top of northern England’s tallest lighthouse. ywt.org.uk

Crabbing in Cornwall: 30th July

Learn the crabbing code with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Looe Marine Conservation Group and discover the lives of these often overlooked crustaceans. cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

Spiny spider crab decoration, South Devon. © Paul Naylor/Marinephoto
Spiny spider crab decoration, South Devon. © Paul Naylor/Marinephoto

Watch for dolphins and whales, Cornwall: 31st July

Take part in citizen science and record any whales and dolphins you see from the coastline of beautiful Boscastle in Cornwall, helping to add to valuable research data. cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

The coastline around Boscastle Harbour/Ian Capper
The coastline around Boscastle Harbour/Ian Capper
Bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland

Beach art competition, Lancashire: 4th August

Make sure your buckets and spades are at the ready for this event run by Lancashire Wildlife Trust at Lytham St Annes. Whether it’s a starfish, basking shark, or tompot blenny, pirate ship or lighthouse, your sand sculpture masterpiece will need to represent something marine-themed. To find out more visit lancswt.org.uk.

Sand sculpture of an octopus/Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Octopus sand art sculpture/Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Mud dipping, Lancashire: 6th August

Get your hands mucky and look beneath the mud of the Ribble Estuary to discover the mysterious creatures that live there and so often go over-looked. lancswt.org.uk

Mud dipping/Lancashire Wildlife Trust
Mud dipping/Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Coastal family camping in Anglesea: 6th — 7th August

Head to North Wales for an action-packed family weekend camping beside the sea. North Wales Wildlife Trust are running a series of events to keep the whole family busy, including rockpooling, yoga, guided walks, talks, snorkeling, kayaking, storytelling and more.  For booking and more information visit northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk.

The White Arch near Rhoscolyn, Anglesey
The White Arch near Rhoscolyn, Anglesey. Gail Johnson/Getty
Bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Scotland

Snorkel safari, Devon: 7th August

Take to the water and discover the marine life living in the shallow coastal water just off the shore with this guided snorkel safari by Devon Wildlife Trust. devonwildlifetrust.org

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Snorkel safari in Bude/Devon Wildlife Trust
Snorkel safari in Bude/Devon Wildlife Trust

Explore wildlife along the Cumbrian coastline, until 8th August

Let your kids become coastal explorers in a series of self-led adventures along the Cumbrian coast. Choose from a range of activity guides and spotter sheets that can help you discover all about the fascinating and diverse creatures living along the seashore. cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk