Seaquest Southwest

Seaquest Southwest

Common Dolphins by Adrian Langdon

Seaquest Southwest is a citizen science marine recording project run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Team. It is one of Cornwall Wildlife Trust's fantastic marine projects aimed at better understanding, conserving and protecting marine wildlife and wild places for future generations.

Seaquest Southwest uses public events, surveys and activities to engage with volunteers and members of the public to achieve its three main aims: to engage people with the marine environment; to collect data on marine wildlife, and to better understand and conserve marine wildlife. Seaquest has been running now for 10 years and collects sightings data on the abundance and distribution of marine megafauna around the Cornish coast. As a result, there has been a steady stream of data over the years which have given us a fantastic insight into our Cornish cetacean population.

Seaquest Southwest Aims

  • To engage people with the marine environment
  • To collect data on marine wildlife
  • To better understand and conserve marine wildlife

Seaquest Southwest organises an exciting programme of events, from public seawatches, Seaquest Sunday surveys, and an annual recorders conference. To find out more please see our seasonal timetable of events at the bottom of this page.

Recent sightings

To find out what marine wildlife has been seen recently go to the Online Recorder Kernow and Scilly (ORKS) website to explore recent wildlife sightings in the county. You'll need to create a free ORKS account to access this information.

You can also read our Seaquest Annual Reports which is packed full of sightings and updates from the project, available to download at the bottom of this page. 

How you can help!

Send us your sightings of marine wildlife in Cornwall:

When you're out and about, keep a lookout for marine wildlife then send us your sightings and you can help protect these beautiful creatures. Send your ad hoc sightings to Online wildlife Recording Kernow and Scilly (ORKS) at www.ORKS.org.uk 

Join us on a Seaquest Dolphin Watch!

The third Sunday of each month we run a public friendly sea watch at different key headlands all around the county. Join wildlife experts and enthusiasts and see what wonderful marine megafauna can be spotted from our coast, meet some fantastic like-minded people and find out more about the project. 

These events are published on the CWT events lists, on the Seaquest Southwest Facebook page and on our Seaquest newsletters (subscribe here)

Become a volunteer and get involved!

We run a number of training events and opportunities throughout the year for new Seaquest volunteers. To get involved or to just find out more, please email seaquest@cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk and subscribe to our Seaquest newsletter to keep up to date with news, upcoming events and training.

Public Seaquest sea watch at West Pentire near Crantock, photo by Katie Bellman

2021 Programme of events

Picnic with a Porpoise

Public Seaquest Watches

Join the Seaquesters at different cliff top locations around the Cornish coast to look for some amazing marine wildlife, learn about the animals we share our coast with and about Seaquest and meet other like-minded people while enjoying a cliff-top tea and cake (COVID restrictions allowing!).

Please note – some sea watches are located close to an NCI station, and all will be clearly marked with flag or logo-ed volunteers. Please bring appropriate clothing, drinks and some snacks, and be prepared to potentially be socially distant from others there.

Every 3rd Sunday of the month

All from 11.00am to 1.00pm

Sunday 17th January Polruan NCI Station
Sunday 21st February Dodman Point, St Austell
Sunday 21st March Pendennis Point, Falmouth
Sunday 18th April Rame Head
Sunday 16th May Widemouth, Bude
Sunday 20th June Towan Head, Newquay
Sunday 18th July Lizard NT Watchpoint
Sunday 15th August The Rumps, Polzeath
Sunday 19th September Porthgwarra, Lands End
Sunday 17th October St Agnes NCI
Sunday 21st November The Rockpool Café, Mousehole
Sunday 19th December St Ives NCI

 

Seaquest Sundays

Seaquest Trained Volunteer Watches

Effort based survey day (the first Sunday of every month) for our trained volunteers to record our marine wildlife from their favourite sea watching point.

You must be a trained volunteer to conduct these surveys

Trained Local Marine Groups support these events and hold surveys that all can attend and join in with - please look below in the 'Associated Local Marine Groups' section.

From 11.00am to 1.00pm

Sunday 3rd January Sunday 4th July
Sunday 7th February Sunday 1st August
Sunday 7th March Sunday 5th September
Sunday 4th April Sunday 3rd October
Sunday 2nd May Sunday 7th November
Sunday 6th June Sunday 5th December

 

Seaquest Survey Training

Day course on how to conduct effort based surveys and to improve marine wildlife ID skills. Places are restricted per course and booking is essential via Eventbrite, closer to the event.

Saturday 24th April Time: 9.30am - 4.00pm
Saturday 9th October Location: CWT Offices
  Cost: £10

 

Marine Recorders Evening

An event to gather with fellow Sea Watchers and other marine recorders within the Living Seas Projects in Cornwall for an evening of talks to summarise the year’s wildlife sightings.

25th November 2021

Venue TBC

6.00pm - 9.30pm

Doors open at 5.30pm

Seaquest Lectures

Planned 2021 lectures include:
• The life of a gannet
• Recent research on our inshore south coast bottlenose dolphins
• Summary seminar of 2020 Living Seas sightings
• Southwest seals

Seaquest will be continuing the successful online seminars in 2021, which allows us to engage with people from across not only Cornwall, but the South West and beyond.

Seminars will be organised monthly, and advertised via our social media platforms (follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and our newsletters which you can sign up to here

Seminars cost £3 per person, with all funds raised going directly back into the Seaquest Southwest Project.

National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2021

Saturday 24th July - Sunday 1st August

Seaquest Southwest will be taking part in the Sea Watch Foundation’s NWDW by putting on public sea watches.

Join dedicated recorders and other Seaquest volunteers at these sea watches, happening county wide for this national event organised by the Sea Watch Foundation. The aim of this event is to give a general snapshot of what is in UK coastal waters over a short period of time. As well as gaining valuable research data, we hope this will draw attention to the conservation of our marine environment.

Seaquest NWDW Locations

11.00am - 1.00pm

Saturday 24th July Mayon Cliff, Sennen
Monday 26th July St Anthony's, Roseland
Wednesday 28th July Cape Cornwall NCI
Saturday 31st July Boscastle NCI

 

Associated Local Marine Groups

Seaquest Southwest collaborates with our marine and coastal wildlife groups around the county to set up local sea watching sites supported by the local community. This enables us to gather more information about the marine wildlife that resides around Cornwall. These groups are part of the Your Shore Network and they run surveys at their local sites during Seaquest Sundays when volunteers are available and the conditions are suitable. Why not join them on the cliffs for a more social sea watch!

PLEASE NOTE:

  • These groups are run by volunteers who might not be available during the Seaquest Sunday dates or might run additional events. Please use the contact information below to check with the group for details and updates.
  • These local surveys may be cancelled in rain, fog, mist or any winds above force 4. Check the weather and local group Facebook pages before you leave the house.

Mounts Bay Marine Group

The waters around Mounts Bay are home to an amazing spread of life. It is such a special environment that Mounts Bay was designated a Marine Conservation Zone in January 2016. The Mounts Bay Marine Group aims to protect and conserve our marine environment and to promote the fantastic marine wildlife found here.

If you would like to get more involved with any of our projects or would like to find out more about joining our meetings then please contact mountsbaymarine@gmail.com

Newquay Marine Group

Newquay Marine Group are a group of local residents working together to create a marine community for the town and surrounding areas - from Crantock to Watergate Bay. The Group will be supporting Seaquest Sundays by running sea watches from Towan Headland throughout the year and would be delighted to welcome people to join local volunteers to survey marine wildlife from this fantastic look out point.

For more information contact newquaymarinegroup@gmail.com

St Agnes Marine Conservation Group

The St Agnes Marine Conservation Group is entirely run by volunteers to promote the St Agnes Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA) and help everyone to enjoy and appreciate the fantastic wildlife and wild places St Agnes has to offer. The Group will be supporting Seaquest Sundays and running a sea watch and survey from the coast path below the St Agnes Head NCI station.

For more information contact contact@st-agnesvmca.org.uk

Falmouth Marine Conservation Group

A collaboration between the local and student community in Falmouth dedicated to protecting our marine environment will be hosting public sea watches on Seaquest Sundays at the beautiful Pendennis Point. Support this new group by joining locals at this brilliant location looking over the harbour to spot wildlife.

For more information, visit www.falmouthmarineconservation.org.uk or their Facebook page.

Three Bays Wildlife Group

The Three Bays Wildlife Group is a voluntary community lead local wildlife group constituted since April 2018 and are affiliated to CWT. The group has been running Seaquest Surveys for several years from Dodman Point, near St Austell, and are aiming to venture to other beautiful headlands of the Roseland to spot wonderful marine megafauna.

For more information, visit Three Bays Wildlife Group Facebook Page.

National Trust watch points

Mayon Cliff Lookout

With views from Cape Cornwall to Land’s End, this viewpoint is ideal for wildlife watching. During the summer there are National Trust Rangers at the lookout to give information on wildlife in the area.

Lizard Wildlife Watch Point

At Britain’s Most Southerly Point, the National Trust’s Wildlife Watchpoint is a fantastic place to get closer to nature. Volunteers are on hand every day, between April and September, to point out and share more about marine wildlife.

For more information contact lizardrangers@nationaltrust.org.uk or call 01326 291174.

Downloads and further information