• Activity
  • 15 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

Coastal habitats

Updated Sunday 17th June 2012

Explore our UK coastal habitats through three distinct habitats: mudflats, Bass Rock and sandy shorelines.

Around our coasts

Coastal waters teem with life and provide great places to observe marine animals and seaweeds. There’s a complex web of connections between different species.

In each of three distinct habitats, explore the links in just one of the many food chains that make up the web of marine life. Food chains are rarely simple and you may find links that you had not expected. You can even work out food chains for yourself.

Next time you visit the coast, be on the lookout for more examples. What are the seagulls feeding on? What is living in the rock pools and where does the food come from? What types of shell are washed up on the sand and can you tell from a shell what has been feeding on the animal that was inside?

Coastal habitats

Click each image to find out more about coastal habitats or to visit iSpot

Birds, flies and seaweed: what's the connection? Creative-Commons Su_ana via Flickr under Creative Commons license What’s special about the habitat that mud provides? Creative-Commons Matt Patterson via Flickr under Creative Commons license How are links in the food chains changing? Creative-Commons Richard Webb via Wikimedia Commons Find the latest coastal observations. Learn more about wildlife, share  your interest with a friendly community and get help identifying what  you have seen. Copyright iSpot
Creative-Commons Background: Michela Mazzoli via Flickr under Creative Commons license
 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

What's On 

Secrets of Our Living Planet

Explore the twists and connections of natural life in four different habitats around the United Kingdom.

Activity

What's On 

Thinking Allowed - A crisis of waste

Household refuse is the focus of this week's Thinking Allowed. Find out more then read an exclusive article on the subject from The Open University's Wendy Maples 

Article

Science, Maths & Technology 

Rubber and Vulcanisation

In the Rough Science programme Lost at Sea, the Rough Scientists Ellen and Kathy are given the task of making a life-jacket. They decide to use kapok to fill the jacket but need to make it waterproof so the contents don’t get wet. Zanzibar has a rich variety of plants and on one of her trips inland Ellen spotted some rubber trees – so they know they can get some fresh latex, but the problem is how to make this cover the life-jacket to give a strong but flexible barrier. The answer is Vulcanisation, precipitating out the rubber particles, mixing them with sulphur and heating the treated material over a fire. To find out more about the process of vulcanisation read the following extract from the second level OU course Our Chemical Environment (ST240).

Article
article icon

Nature & Environment 

Amazonian challenges and policy responses: reference list

References used for the series of articles on the Amazon System.

Article

Nature & Environment 

Overheating Earth staggers into Last Chance Saloon - Climate News Network

Hard bargaining in Bonn this week will probably decide whether the crucial climate talks in Paris in December can save human civilisation from ultimate collapse. Paul Brown from The Climate News Network discusses. 

Article
Environmental management and organisations free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Environmental management and organisations

It is believed that environmental management requires action at all levels and by organisations of all types and sizes. However it is not always clear what we mean by environmental management and the role that organisations do and could play. This free course, explores the different interpretations and viewpoints involved by using system thinking to provide a framework with which to better understand environmental management and organisations.

Free course
15 hrs

Nature & Environment 

Effects of pollutants on the aquatic environment

Effects of pollutants on the aquatic environment is a free course. It begins with an introduction to water and goes on to briefly outline the major sources of water pollution (these being sewage works, manufacturing and industrial plants, the farming and animal husbandry sectors, landfill sites and urban surface water run-off). It considers the major water pollutants and describes the effects they have on water.

Free course
3 hrs

Nature & Environment 

Microbes – friend or foe?

Microbes often get a bad name. Whilst some of them do cause disease, others play vital roles in recycling nutrients in the soil to enable plants to grow, and in breaking down human waste. Without microbes, we would have no beer, no yoghurt, no coffee. That's quite impressive for something too small to see. This free course, Microbes friend or foe? sheds some light on them.

Free course
10 hrs

Nature & Environment 

Tackling flooding from ground up

With increasing likelihood and frequency of flooding expected in Britain, what can be done to prevent the devastation? 

Article