The following information is based on The Marine Conservation Society Seashore Code.
Copies of the code are available from the Marine Conservation Society.
Beaches and sand dunes
Beaches and sand dunes are prone to erosion and are easily damaged by people and vehicles.
- Keep to established paths and dune boardwalks.
- Park in designated car parks.
- Do not drive or ride off-road vehicles, motor bikes or mountain bikes on dunes or beaches.
- Holes dug in the beach should be backfilled before you leave.
- Don’t collect pebbles or rocks for garden or other uses.
Cliffs, rocky shores, tidal flats, estuaries and beaches can all be dangerous places.
- Take care near cliffs, which are potentially unstable, especially after heavy rain or severe weather when rock falls or landslips may occur. Keep away from the top and bottom of sheer cliffs.
- Do not climb on sloping, vegetated cliffs as they may be steeper and less stable than they appear.
- Check tide times to avoid being cut off, taking special care in rocky coves and on tidal flats and estuaries. Seek local advice and heed warning signs.
- Do not venture onto soft sand or mud.
Litter and rubbish
Litter on beaches and other shores may come from shipping, sewage outfalls or beach users.
- Dispose of litter in bins where provided, or take it home. Do not burn or bury it on the beach or dunes.
- Clear up after your dog.
- Report canisters, drums or other suspicious objects, which may either be washed up or become exposed from dunes or beaches due to erosion. Do not touch a suspicious object, and warn other people to keep away.
It is illegal to disturb many species of birds and animals.
- Avoid disturbing seals, otters, seabirds and other wildlife by not approaching too closely, but instead use binoculars to observe them from a distance. Stay clear of breeding sites.
- Do not allow dogs to disturb wildlife.
- Do not disturb rockpools or creatures of the rocky shore. Take care when touching soft-bodied animals, and do not remove limpets or other creatures. If lifting a rock to look underneath, carefully replace the rock as you found it. Do not remove attached seaweeds.
- Make sure shells are empty of life before you take any home.
- Do not buy marine ‘curios’ such as coral, starfish or sea urchins.
- Take photographs rather than specimens.