Beached! is a new project which aims to map the mass accumulations of dead or dying sea life on our beach strandlines, from Southport to Aberdyfi. These are a common and, mostly, natural occurrence as part of the cycle of life in our seas but we know very little about where or why these 'wrecks' occur.
Why do we want to know about dead stuff?
The Irish Sea is very productive and this is evident when looking at the strandline which is where the remains of animals and plants often end up after they have died. Looking at what ends up on the strandline helps us understand what is happening offshore.
Beached! hopes to answer two questions about our strandline:
1. Every now and then the strandline is dominated by large numbers of dead and dying animals of one or two species. What might have caused this? We need to record these 'wrecks' of marine life to be able later to analyse things like the weather that occurred at the time.
2. Where are the best strandlines? Concentrations of shells and other things build up at certain spots. Are these always in the same place and are different species found at different times of year?
This project would especially suit people who regularly walk a length of beach and want to know more about the sea offshore.
Get Involved with Beached!
Take a photo of the wreck, noting its approximate length (if possible a GPS location). Take a close-up photo of each individual species present.
Please submit your records to us via the Cofnod Online Recording System using one of the links below, and selecting the 'Beached!' project. Or, for sightings within England, please visit the webpage of the Merseyside BioBank
If you are not registered on the Cofnod website, please fill in a registration form (this should only take a couple of minutes).
If you are already registered, log in then follow the instructions below.
Finally, click here to email Dawn at North Wales Wildlife Trust and ask to be put on the project's mailing list!
Wreck or Remains?
How to distinguish a 'wreck' from a gradually formed concentration of remains.
A 'wreck' has lots of dead and dying animals. For example, most of the shells will have bodies in them.
There may be lots of gulls and crows feeding on them - but note it is a bit like Christmas dinner, as after a day or so the scavengers may be so stuffed with food they just sit around digesting.
A concentration of remains usually contains only empty shells and is often a single species. We are still interested in records of these concentrations, especially if they are a regular feature on your beach.