Intertidal Discovery

Conducting Foot survey By Caz Waddell
Currently active?
Project Summary

From 2012 to 2014 the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), together with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, ran a groundbreaking project to map the intertidal habitats along over 370 miles of Cornwall's north coast.

The Intertidal Discovery Project was set up in July 2012 to survey and map the intertidal habitats along the entire north coast of Cornwall, stretching from Marsland Mouth near Bude to Land’s End and was the first time such a project had ever been attempted in Cornwall!

The project was tasked with recording the different types of habitats and species found along the shoreline between the highest and lowest tides – the ‘intertidal’ zone. Surveys were conducted using recognised scientific methodology, by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Where possible survey work was carried out on foot, though boats and kayaks were also used where access to the shore was difficult.

With survey work now completed, results are available to download via the interactive webmap which will ensure the information gathered will be accessible to all with an interest in marine conservation, and inspire others to learn about Cornwall’s diverse coastal habitats. 



  • Surveying almost 32 million square metres of intertidal habitats along the entire north coast of Cornwall from Marsland Mouth to Land’s End. This includes every major outlying rock and island within 1 mile of the coast, and also extends to the tidal limit of the Camel, Gannel and Hayle estuaries.
  • Accurately mapping 111 intertidal habitat types, including 32 Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority habitats.
  • Producing detailed records of the location and extent of over 200 intertidal speciesfound during surveys, including data relating to invasive and non-natives species.
  • Publishing Cornwall's first interactive habitat map for the entire north coast!
  • Producing free resources including; 108 habitat (biotope) guides describing every type that exists along the north coast of Cornwall; 70 beach guides which detail breakdowns of all the habitats found in each location and their total area; and 100 access guides to the major publically accessible spots along the north coast. 
  • The team has trained over 150 people in elements of marine fieldwork, surveying (including the use of mobile GIS technology) and data management, and many thousand volunteer hours have been contributed to the project.

The project was kindly funded by the SITA Trust: Enriching Nature Programme.


Explore the IDP Interactive Map following the link below:

Intertidal Portal