The Rock Pool Project

The Rock Pool Project

At a glance


  • Animals / wildlife
  • Environment
  • Museums / heritage

Other details

Geographical remit: 


The Rock Pool Project is a not-for-profit social enterprise that is committed to building a diverse community of "citizen scientists" to discover and protecting our marine natural heritage.

The natural marine environment is vital to Cornish communities. It is fundamental to the tourism market, which dominates the local economy. Visitor surveys repeatedly report a closeness to nature and unspoilt coastlines as leading reasons for selecting Cornwall for their holidays. Furthermore, the marine environment is essential for Cornish communities themselves. Marine wildlife is also under threat for a variety of reasons, including pollution, climate change, overfishing and invasive species. The key to addressing these threats is to raise public awareness of them and of the incredible, yet vulnerable, local marine wildlife that needs to be protected.

The benefits of people connecting with and experiencing nature are starting to become fully appreciated. Increasing evidence is demonstrating the health and well-being benefits of exposure to the natural environment. Whilst the advantages of outdoor learning for children are starting to become appreciated across the educational sector, the existing educational establishment has limited capacity or skills to provide these services.

We are marine biologists and educators who working with schools, local community groups and tourists to open up our amazing local marine natural world to children and adults and provide them with the opportunities to help to us all learn about and protect this precious resource.


Our main activities that we have developed are been rock ramble style surveys and "Mobile Rock Pool" marine wildlife talks.

These sessions are delivered by the project two directors:

Dr Ben Holt is a prominent marine biologist who has trained and led hundreds of members of the public to survey our coastlines.

Alan Smith is a highly experienced primary school teacher, year group leader, and science coordinator; who has designed our activities to ensure that they link with the national curriculum.

As well as raising awareness of marine wildlife, our beach surveys are designed to allow participants to contribute records of their rock pool wildlife finds in a highly engaging way.


No current opportunities

Search for volunteer opportunities with other organisations.