North East Citizen Science: Coastal and marine

Want to help protect coastal and marine wildlife? Discover citizen science projects that you can join while by the sea.

The Wild Oysters Project: Tyne and Wear

Oyster reefs clean coastal waters and create an important habitat for other marine animals. Once commonly found in UK seas, populations across Europe have declined by 95% since the 1800s.

Oysters were once a large part of local culture but today there’s no sign of oyster reefs in the North East.

The Wild Oysters Project aims to restore this special habitat and boost the native oyster population back to self-sustaining reefs. The Tyne & Wear restoration hub are seeking volunteers to help monitor the oyster nurseries at Sunderland Marina and the Port of Blyth.

Discover the Wild Oysters Project

Explore an exciting project that is working to restore the native Oyster back to North East waters

Bottlenose Dolphins

North East Cetacean Project

While at the North East coast, you can regularly encounter Harbour Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphins, Minke Whales, and White-beaked Dolphins. Sightings from your coastal walks can uncover more about the region’s cetaceans.

Added to the regional database, your sightings will increase understanding of these charismatic creatures in North East waters.

You can also contact the project at


North East England Beached Bird Survey

The North East Beached Bird Survey is a voluntary group that records bird species found washed up on the shore.

Once a month, volunteers survey a stretch of coast and record incidences of beached birds, environmental issues such as oil spills and litter, and conditions of the birds they find. Your surveys will help uncover more about the incidence of beached birds along our coastline and what pressures are facing these birds.

Working closely with the Dove Marine Laboratory, some birds are further analysed to identify internal issues.


Eider Aware North East

Found along our coast and estuaries, Eiders are sea ducks with a distinctive ‘a-ooh-e’ call. Eider Aware North East is a project which aims to celebrate and uncover more about the nationally important Eider populations along the Northumberland coast.

Sharing your sightings will help the Berkshire & Northumberland Nature Partnership target future conservation action and uncover more about the local pressures facing these much-loved sea ducks.

Your records can be submitted online, or for Eider mapping on the go, through a dedicated mobile App.

Eyed Ladybird © James Common

Join North East Citizen Science

To protect nature, we need to know as much as we can about it. Conservationists and researchers cannot do this alone.

By taking part in citizen science, you’ll make a difference for nature across the North East.

From birds to botany, discover what projects are happening in the North East.

By Charlotte Rankin, local naturalist