Survey 2023 results
Volunteers across the country joined forces to answer one very important question - where is all our seagrass?
Seagrass is a vital underwater habitat which is facing numerous threats. Very little is known about seagrass, in fact we don’t even know where most of the seagrass in the UK is! This is where our amazing volunteers stepped in. Between them they scuba dived, snorkelled and strolled the coastline, locating and mapping a whopping 183 ha of seagrass. That’s almost the same area as Monaco. Imagine discovering a whole country of seagrass!
A total of 96 beds were mapped around the country, from the Outer Hebrides to the Channel Islands. Both of the two species of seagrass found in UK waters were recorded; Zostera noltei which can be found on the beach at low tide and Zostera marina which is found in shallow waters. The largest area mapped was 78 ha by the Moray Ocean Community near Inverness.
Why your data is important
Understanding where seagrass lives around our shores is vitally important for scientists and restoration practitioners who are working hard to protect and restore seagrass around the UK and abroad. By knowing where seagrass is we can learn more about its requirements as well as the threats it is facing. This allows solid policies and plans for protection and restoration to be implemented.
Our quest is far from over, and we need your help to uncover more unknown seagrass beds in 2024. Instructions on how to identify and map seagrass, as well as how to submit your data can be found on the Great Seagrass Survey page.
Seagrass lives in shallow water, one species can even be found on the shore at low tide. This means that you can take part whether you fancy scuba diving, snorkelling or simply strolling on the beach.
This year, the Great Seagrass Survey Weekend is on the 25th - 27th May but you can record and submit sightings all year round. Join us on this odyssey to uncover the secret seagrass, and together, we can ensure that this marvellous habitat receives the protection it deserves.
You can view the locations of the seagrass beds found by the Great Seagrass Survey team on the interactive map below by clicking here.