Coastwatch Survey in County Wicklow- 15 Sept-15th October 2022

The annual citizen science shore survey co-ordinated by Coastwatch is currently open.  Running from mid-September to mid-October this eco-audit of the shore is a once off snap shot survey of the shore taken at low tide by volunteers every Autumn between 15th Sept and 15th Oct. As the 2022 survey period gets underway, volunteer surveyors are invited to sign up for survey units in county Wicklow.

All are invited to an upcoming Information Session at Bray Sealife on Friday 23rd September @ 3 pm to chat to co-ordinators, find out more about the survey,  and to pick up survey forms and identification sheets. There will be an outing at 3.30pm to the coastline nearby to fill in the survey and answer questions. 

Seeking Coastwatch surveyors for Wicklow

Coastwatch is looking for both new and  experienced surveyors and invites everyone –  walkers, swimmers, coastal farmers and local residents to participate. The survey can be completed over a single visit at low tide between now and mid-October.

Getting Started

To get started, participants should visit / Autumn Survey  and click on the map to ‘adopt’ one or more survey units (a unit is  500m). It is then a matter of filling in the survey questionnaire when you visit your site. There is also scope for schools, paddle boarders, dive and kayak clubs to cover a larger shore area by adopting multiple units.

Ireland’s longest running Citizen Science survey

The annual Coastwatch survey has been running since 1987, making it Irelands longest running citizen science initiative Of Ireland’s  7500 km of coastline, approximately 60 km occurs in county Wicklow . This survey is a valuable tool to document  the current condition of our coast and to monitor changes over time.   Wicklow County Council supports Coastwatch in this initiative with Deirdre Burns, Heritage Officer  acting as  a point of contact and regional co-ordinator.  Map, survey forms, wildlife posters and information  can all  be downloaded  from the Coastwatch  website or drop an e mail to for hard copies. Also available on request are nitrate kits that can be used to test water quality where you have a watercourse in your survey unit.

Surveyors can augment their shore audits with photos and videos of species, habitats, landscape, litter, pollution and oddities.

Important note on Avian Flu

Members of the public are advised to be aware of the risks posed by Avian Flu which is currently  spreading across Europe. It is likely that  dead or dying birds may be encountered and members of the public are advised by the  Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine 

·       not to handle sick or dead wild birds;

·       not to bring sick wild birds home;

·       pets should be kept away from sick and dead wild birds (dogs should be kept on a leash where sick or dead wild birds are present).

Please notify DAFM of any suspected avian influenza cases via the Avian Check App or alternatively  call the Avian Influenza Hotline at 01 607 2512 (or 01 492 8026 outside of normal office hours).

Download a useful ‘Coastwatch Survey in 5 Easy Steps’ as a pdf below, and visit website to access a range of FREE identification posters, guides and Apps.


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