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Celebrating National Marine Week

This week is National Marine Week, a celebration of the diverse marine life and habitats around the UK. Cornwall is the county with the longest coastline in the UK — over 400 miles — and there is a huge number of events that you can take part in to raise the awareness of the importance of our oceans. From rockpool rambles to coastal wildlife surveys and seaweed foraging, if you’re in Cornwall for the holidays, here’s how you can get involved in National Marine Week.

Join a beach clean

We all have a responsibility to keep our beaches clean and collecting litter is one of the best ways to help. On the 30th July, head to Cornwall’s north coast and collect litter on Hayle Beach with St Ives Marine Group. Further up the coast, also on the 20th July, Beach Guardian are organising a beach clean of Trevone Bay, near Padstow. Alternatively, if you’re on the south coast, the National Trust’s monthly beach cleans on the Roseland Peninsula are great events to get involved in — over the National Marine Week they’re taking place on Hemmick Beach (Sat 5th August), and Pendower and Porthcurnick (Sat 7th August).

Or organise your own beach clean with our handy guide to beach cleaning in Cornwall

Rockpool rambles

On various dates over the week, marine groups across Cornwall will be hosting rockpool rambles so families can explore rockpools and all their wild and wonderful inhabitants. Join one of these events and learn about starfish, crabs, anemones, and sea slugs with one of the following groups:

If you’re holidaying in Bude that week, join Bude Marine Group at Crooklets Beach on the 30th July between 10am and 1pm for a ramble over the rocks. On the 3rd August, on the north coast of Cornwall, you can join Polzeath Marine Conservation Group for rambles along the coastline, or head further south and join Falmouth Marine Conservation Group on the fascinating rockpools of beautiful Gylly Beach.

National whale and dolphin watch 2023

This annual event, created by the Seawatch Foundation, encourages people from all over the UK to get involved in recording whale and dolphin sightings, helping to create a snapshot of whale and dolphin activity in our waters. To take part, all you need to do is download a form and fill out a few details about your sightings between 29th July to 6th August. Last year nearly 700 people took part and they’re hoping to make this the best year ever.

Seaweed foraging with the Seaweed Institute

Spend a bit of time in the company of seaweed experts on this seaweed foraging course on 23rd July where you’ll learn about seaweed and cook up a delicious lunch on the beach with your foraged finds. Held on Castle Beach in Falmouth you’ll explore the shoreline at low tide in search of the best edible seaweeds, all the while learning about the history and culture of seaweed harvesting and how the important role that seaweed plays in our ecosystem — and our diets — today.

Kids’ fun at the Pirate Academy — National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

As part of their new major exhibition on pirates, the National Maritime Museum in south Cornwall’s creative capital of Falmouth will be teaching youngsters everything there is to know about being a pirate of the high seas. There are two different shows each day covering all the essentials: a crash course in pirate skills where children will learn the rules of the pirate code, the food and drink they might have eaten and the weapons they used. They’ll then need to put all this newly acquired knowledge to the test and help their new crew decide the best course of action. 

Other ways to help as a visitor to Cornwall

Of course, you don’t have to join an event or sign up to a course — there are lots of other ways you can get involved to help raise awareness of the importance of our seas.

Buying sustainable fish on holiday

Hake or haddock? Bass or brill? Sometimes it’s difficult to know which is the most sustainable option. Fortunately, the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide takes all the hard work out of decision making with their handy rating system that ranks fish varieties from 1 (most sustainable option) to 5 (fish to avoid). They also recommend fishmongers throughout the county where you can buy sustainable fish options.

Have a plastic free holiday

Bodyboards on Beach Plastic Free Cornwall

When we’re away from home, it’s more important than ever to think about how and what we’re consuming — reports suggest that consumption of plastics increases by up to 40% during the peak holiday periods as we buy more plastic-wrapped food on the go and send more waste to landfill rather than find out about local recycling systems. At Forever Cornwall, we try to inspire our guests to have a more responsible, lower impact holiday, and we have lots of tips on how to have a plastic free holiday, from plastic free shopping to avoiding polystyrene bodyboards and details on Cornwall’s plastic free communities.

You can read more about the ways in which we’re inspiring better holidays in Cornwall through our blogs, location guides and top tips pages.