Posted 11th Mar 2016 by Peter Byrne
The biggest survey to ever be carried out along Britain's coastline has revealed a host of "wildlife firsts"
Surveying 25 National Trust locations, over 3,400 species were found along the coast of the United Kingdom, in what is the biggest survey the charity has ever attempted. Some have been uncovered in a new habitat for the first time or else rediscovered after remaining unseen for many years.
This included the first ever sighting of the Balearic shearwater in Blakeney, Norfolk, with an appearance on the east coast being highly unusual for the species.
West Wales was also home to a slow worm, which was found for the first time since 1966, while a forest cockchafer beetle made a rare appearance in Northern Ireland's White Park Bay, the first time one had been spotted there in more than a century.
Over 4,000 people took part in the survey, which aimed to take in as many species as possible over either 12 or 24 hour periods. Some 53 "red listed" species were also recorded, including the Dartford warbler in what was only its second sighting since the 1980s.
The survey also counted 95 of the UK's most threatened species, with the National Trust's head of conservation, Dr David Bullock, saying: "The shifting nature of our shoreline means that we need to think ahead about what is happening to coastal habitats and how we might secure the future of the wildlife that lives by the sea.”
The survey occurred to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the National Trust's Neptune Coastline Campaign, a 50 year project to protect our coastline.
Image courtesy of Getty / Moment Open / Valter Jacinto