Seaweed vs Limpets


Limpets, common molluscan grazers in the intertidal zone, are known to have an important role on rocky shores. Limpets graze on very young algae and can prevent them from growing into an algal canopy that shades and protects other animals and seaweed from light and desiccation. The amount of this algal canopy can play an important role in determining which animals and seaweeds thrive on the shore. Some years, there are lots of limpets and less algal canopy. Other years, there are less limpets and more algal canopy.


The simple survey of 10 – 15 quadrats is being completed in Spring and Autumn at over 30 sites nationally.


The survey runs from February to March and from September to October each year. If you would like to get involved in Spring 2019, please contact for advice on where to survey!


The survey involves measurements of seaweed cover and limpet sizes, and takes a couple of hours. Once you have completed your survey please send your data sheets to:


Data from your hub and other hubs around the UK will be combined in order to find out if there are patterns in the balance between algae and limpets across the UK.


Watch the training video

Additional Activities

As part of Capturing Our Coast, our regional hubs run additional activities throughout the year to help us further understand the UK coast. These additional citizen science activities are experimental investigations that allow us to research things like breeding cycles of key species and wader bird use of coastal and intertidal environments. These activities are open to trained and non-trained volunteers of all ages.


Species Package Surveys

Why carry on collecting CoCoast data? A view from the scientists


Marine Invaders

Help track non-native invasions taking place around the UK’s coastline...


CoastXplore App

When you are next by the coast complete a quick survey to help us understand how people use the...


Barnacle Photographs

Barnacles are common on many shores, but we know very little about individuals among the masses...


Beach Babies

 Would you like to look for “beach babies” on your local rocky shore? Some species start to...


Bird Food

Rocky shores aren't just about the small animals. Many species of wading bird are in decline,...


Seaweed vs Limpets

Limpets are grazers that live on algae, and an important part of the rocky shore ecosystem. The...


Further Activities

These experimental investigations are open to our Capturing Our Coast trained volunteers only. To find out more about the options available, follow the links below.