Publications and Resources

The Highland Seashore Project has produced a number of published materials over the life of the project. 

The Seashore Happy Families Card Game

Care of the magnificent talents of Gaelic author and broadcaster Roddy Maclean, the beautiful photogrpahs of James Merryweather and Charlie Philips and from an idea by Callum Ullman-Smith, we are pleased to present these stunning cards in English and Gaelic. The most fun way to learn about life on the shore, their Gaelic names and heritage.



‘Beside the Sea, art, stories and poems from schools across the Highlands’

Inspiring young readers about Scotland’s coast with artwork, stories and poems in English and Gaelic. The book, ‘Beside the Sea, art, stories and poems from schools across the Highlands’, which is to be given out to all Highland schools, is a result of a school-based competition.

The competition received an impressive 724 entries from 27 Highland schools. The depth of work showed not only the rich variety of wildlife seen on Highland coasts, but also the fun that can be had on the shore and the inspiration that it gives. 


The Top 20 Common Species Identification Sheets

Mike kendall has put together a top 20 identification sheet of the common shore species for the Highlands. It is available as a PDF for free download here.


User Friendly Seashore Guide by James Merryweather (Available only through retail at

Book CoverUser-Friendly Seashore Guide is a book, specially prepared to serve the needs of the Highland Seashore Biodiversity Project, 2013-2015 and also – in the fullness of time – to present a new, intermediate-grade identification kit suitable for seashore enthusiasts around Britain.

A thoroughly competent new-look field guide. Obtain your copy of the book at Amazon HERE.

Users are strongly encouraged to avoid picture-matching, a haphazard process that often results in misidentifications, and to work their way through reliable identification keys resembling those used by specialists, but with an innovative twist that contrasts with their scientific counterparts. So that they can be approached by all users, the keys are couched in plain English and contain virtually no technical terms. Whilst users need to adopt methodical patience (as opposed to the randomness of picture matching), they should find the stepwise keys highly accessible, painlessly discovering the identities of most common seashore species found around the Highland coast. Further information about more species can be looked up in the more advanced literature.

Updates to the 2013 and 2014 editions have been collated in THIS DOWNLOAD available here for free.

PDF Guides




Online Identification Guides

There are a number of guides and keys available online and for download produced by many agencies and funders.  If you have a specific interest in any one interest or genera please see below.

Key to main Polychaete families from the Natural History Museum. This key deals with only the main benthic families.

Many of the questions are link to images which illustrate the features being sought. The images will appear on the right hand frame. In turn many of these images are specific to particular families. If you recognise an image as being similar to a feature on your worm you can often click on the image and it will take you to the relevant family. So there are a number of ways of trying to identify your worm.

The Seashell Survey  The Buglife Scottish Seashell Survey is a fun way to learn about the natural world, while helping to collect useful information about the species that live around our coasts. It also has a sueful key for download. On the highland Seashore project the survey form is for live molluscs, please use the Buglife survey for all shell data.

The Big Seaweed Search  Seaweeds are easy to find and occur all around the UK coastline. There are a staggering 650 seaweed species in the UK, around 7% of the world’s species, and they play a vital role in the functioning of the marine environment.

Scientists think that the effects of climate change and the spread of invasive species are starting to have an effect on where they are found but they need more information to be sure.

This is where you can help. Identify the seaweeds you spot on the UK's coast and tell us what you find. This will help researchers from the British Phycological Society and Natural History Museum to find out what is happening to our seaweeds.

The Wester Ross Marine Wildlife Poster


The picture above shows one small section of the beautiful full sized colour poster, printed from an original painting by Peter Cunningham of the Wester Ross Fisheries Trust and Wester-Ross Environmental Network (WREN). The poster shows Gannets diving into the sea, Minke Whales below the waves to Maerl beds and flame shells, it is a whole panorama of life above and below the sea in Wester Ross, full of beautiful illustrations and fully annotated.

Highland Nature Guide CDR by James Meryweather

The Highland Nature Guides, by renowned naturalist and seashore enthusiast James Merryweather. The CD inlcudes:

Ferns, Horsetails, Clubmosses & Quillworts

Highland Seashores for All

Seashore: 9 Lectures

Introduction to Flowerless Plants


The contents provide guides to species identification, species conservation, seashore surveying techniques and the recognition and management of some invasive species.  It has stunning photos of animals, plants and habitats of the Highlands and is a must not only for the naturalist, but for anyone who is enthusiastic about the landscape and nature of the Highlands.

Barnacle Guide

Please find below a guide to Barnacle species, collated by Mike Kendall. Plymouth Marine Laboratory
There are around 12 species of acorn barnacle that occur in UK waters and around a further 20 goose barnacles that could be encountered. Five acorn barnacles are commonly encountered on the shores of the Highlands.  llustrations taken from  Hayward P.J and J.S.Ryland. 1994 Handbook of the Marine Fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford University Press.
Identification information from Southward A.J., 2008. Barnacles. Synopses of the British Fauna (57). Linnean Soc. London.
Distribution Information from MarClim project of the Marine Biological Association UK, personal communications from Prof M. Burrows and Dr M Mieszkowska as well as unpublished personal data. Field Guide to Intertidal Barnacles

Seashore Life Posters

The Highland Seashore Project is proud to launch a series of posters for download from this web site as PDFs. The posters have been created by James Merryweather, using high quality photographs of some of the coasts most stunning wildlife and landscapes. 







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DOWNLOAD                                                                DOWNLOAD






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