A SURVEY was carried out at Wrabness nature reserve for the first time in a bid to discover more about the species that call the coastline home.

Volunteers joined Essex Wildlife Trust to complete a Shoresearch survey at the site, scouring the coastline to record the animals living there.

The event was part of an ongoing project, which is hoped to help gain a better understanding of the intertidal species and habitats that exist along this stretch of Essex coastline.

Rachel Langley, living seas co-ordinator at Essex Wildlife Trust, said: “Staff and volunteers managed to identify lots of wonderful intertidal species at Wrabness, including sea squirts, a barrel-shaped animal that spends its adult life permanently attached to a rock.

“They also found sand mason worms, a fascinating species that makes its own home out of bits of shell and sand as well as spotting shore crabs and lug worm casts - the familiar wiggly pile of sand formed by lugworms swallowing sand and disposing of it behind them.

“Numerous marine plants were also found during the survey on July 25, including bladder wrack and spiral wrack.”

Shoresearch is a citizen science project run by the Essex Wildlife Trust, which aims to identify and record animals, plants and habitats where the sea meets the land along the UK’s coast.

The data collected during the surveys will create a baseline of marine species that occur, while also providing an insight into the effects of pollution, climate change and invasive alien species on these fragile ecosystems on the shoreline.

The trust says data collected in the past has been used to designate a number of the UK’s Marine Conservation Zones.

Rachel added: “Shoresearch surveys are a great way to learn more about your local marine wildlife whilst helping us to collect valuable marine species and habitat data.

“Why not get involved?”

Essex Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas team run Shoresearch surveys all along the Essex coast.

To join Essex Wildlife Trust and help it to build a picture of the coastal species found in Essex, you can have a look for upcoming events on their website at essexwt.org.uk/events.

Or you can register to take part in a survey by emailing shoresearch@essexwt.org.uk.