Become a shoreline detective

The coast is full of treasure, with lots of different natural objects scattered around. This activity is all about slowing down and looking around for what we can see, smell or hear. Try to look more closely at things, thinking about what the object/species is and what its role is in the ecosystem. This activity is great if you can head to the coast. Become shoreline detectives, searching high and low to find as many natural objects on the spotter sheet as you can!

Keep your eyes peeled for a mermaid’s purse, which is a pouch protecting a developing skate or shark embryo!

Dogfish egg case (c) Amy Lewis

You may also find some shells, but what kind is it? There are lots of different types, from whelk shells to oyster shells!

Whelks (c) Alan Price


Remember it is important to visit the coast safely. It is important to know the tide times when visiting the coast – you can find this by visiting the MET office website here. While you’re out, be aware of your surroundings and the tide’s direction at all times.


What you will need:

  • Printed spotter sheet
  • Pen/pencil
  • Clipboard (optional)
  • Magnifying glasses (optional)


How to become a shoreline detective:

  1. Head out on a walk along the shoreline and tick items off your spotter sheet as you go. Try and stop and engage your senses! Can you find something with a rough texture, or perhaps soft or squidgy? Do any of them have a certain smell, shape, or colour? Can you find anything interesting that isn’t on the spotter sheet?
  2. It is important to leave natural objects and coastal creatures at the coast – everything in nature has its place! Also, remember to take your rubbish home so it doesn’t end up in our seas! Lastly, don’t forget to wash hands afterwards.


Time to complete

1 to 2 hours

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Health and Wellbeing (Mental and Emotional Wellbeing)

Sciences (Planet Earth)

Social Studies (People, Place and Environment)



Help protect Scotland’s wildlife

Our work to save Scotland’s wildlife is made possible thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters.

Join today from just £3 a month to help protect the species you love.

Join today

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top