Here you will find information on the projects you can get involved in on your own local patch, from your own back garden to roadside verges, farmland, moorland or coastline. We hope that by getting involved we will be able to enhance your daily walk whilst you will be able to help support our local wildlife by contributing your sightings.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, send us a message through our Contact Us page.

Featured Project…

Shetland Porpoise Survey

Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) are the smallest of the cetaceans to be spotted around Shetland. They are generally shy creatures and do not often approach boats but can be easily spotted from the shore. They are regularly spotted in Shetland waters in small groups and sometimes in large aggregations that are not seen in many … Read More

Current Projects

Invasive American Lobster- Retain and Report

Marine Scotland recently launched a campaign to help raise awareness of American lobster (Homarus americanus) which are now being found in Scotland. The animals are considered an ‘invasive non-native species’ as they are not naturally found in Scotland and pose a threat to our native wildlife. These animals cannot cross the Atlantic naturally and therefore … Read More

Shetland Shark and Skate Eggcase Hunt

There are a surprising variety of eggcases and once you get looking it is interesting to see how many different species you can find on a beach. Each species produces an eggcase with a slightly different design. Using the ID guide provided by the Shark Trust as part of their Great Eggcase Hunt you can … Read More

Become a Skatespotter

In 2016 Steven Benjamins, a researcher at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) received around 400 digital photos of Flapper Skate taken between 2011 and 2016 from Ronnie Campbell a skate charter skipper operating out of Oban. Steven was able to identify around 250 individual skate with several recaptures by recognising the spot patterns … Read More

Big Seaweed Search

Also, due to environmental issues such as: ocean acidification (the sea becoming more acidic as a result of absorbing carbon dioxide from the air); rising sea temperatures; and the arrival and spread of non-native species the seaweeds we are seeing around our coasts are changing so people’s records are more important than ever.

Copyright Lisa Humpray

Shetland’s Marine Non-native Species

Can you help spot marine non-native species on your local beaches? The NAFC has found that compared to elsewhere in the UK, Shetland has relatively few non-native species, perhaps reflecting Shetland’s cooler waters, making it harder for some species to colonise. However, non-native species can compete with native wildlife and smother aquaculture structures which have … Read More

Copyright Rachel Shucksmith

Calling all divers and snorkellers!

We are looking for records of rare and important marine life. In Shetland we are very fortunate to have a long and varied coastline, home to a wide variety of marine life. Compared to other parts of the UK, the Shetland coastline is relatively well studied thanks to survey work undertaken to support the building … Read More

Bumblebee Survey

Bumblebees are important pollinators in Shetland and are a useful indicator species of the general environment quality. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some bumblebee species have declined over recent decades possibly due to changing agricultural practices and as an impact of climate change.

Shetland Butterfly Spot

Sightings records can be emailed to SBRC with photos if you have them (this is important for evidencing the rarer species). If you have more time, we would love it if you could carry out a short survey in your garden or on a set walking route once a week, or as often as you … Read More

New Zealand Flatworm Survey 2020

The NZ Flatworm and its eggs may be found under stones, plastic and wood etc. We would also like you to record the numbers of earthworms you are finding in your ground as their lack of abundance may be an indicator of the presence or absence of the NZ Flatworms. We would like you to … Read More


Zooniverse in a website dedicated to “people-powered research”. It showcases hundreds of citizen science projects from all across the globe that you can get involved in from the comfort of your own living room. No prior knowledge or experience of the subject is required, they are all super easy and give you all the instructions … Read More