Welcome to BSAC Kidz…your marine adventure starts here! Join us beachcombing, snorkelling and scuba diving.

NEW BSAC Beach Snapper

Written by Sophie

beachsnappersandBeach Snapper has been introduced to support clubs and dive centres in providing more family-friendly activities.


It's a fun course, introducing young people to creative photography at the seaside and is an ideal companion to the established Beachcomber.


What they will learn

At the end of the activities participants should have an understanding of how to use some of the basic settings on a digital camera, how to pick interesting subjects for their photos and how to take a good picture. They also receive a BSAC Beach Snapper certificate. 


Age Guidance

No restrictions. The target age group is 5-12 years but course content can be adapted for all age groups or individuals.


Beachsnapper1Who can deliver it?

Any responsible adult with adequate knowledge about photography. 

BSAC Beach Snapper could be delivered by parents while spending time with their children or by instructors to create more family-friendly group activities while on dive trips.

Leaders should be comfortable with and enjoy working with young people.



BSAC Beach Snapper can be delivered in about three hours or longer if by adding an indoor session on saving and editing photos if you have the facilities to do this.


BeachsnapperartfaceStudent pack

The pack for participants contains:

  • Beach Snapper guide
  • Certificate
  • Instructor resources / notes for parents are included
To order the pack, please visit our online shop.


What you will need

A beach, harbour, estuary or any seaside site, where interesting marine life and scenes can be found.
Each participant should have their own digital camera.

An instructor resource pack. These are free when ordering Beach Snapper course packs.


You may also want to order bright kid's safety bibs, especially for larger groups

From Debbie White, Oxford BSAC:

oxfordbeachsnappers"On Babbacombe Beach, Oxford BSAC had their first go at running the new Beach Snapper course. The course is aimed at encouraging young people to engage with the British seaside through photography.

The paperwork is simple  and straight forward in it's layout, easy to understand and effortless to adapt to any age or experience of those handling a camera.

After talking through basic seashore code and personal risk assessment it was straight into how to find your way around a camera, what the buttons do and how to hold the camera, as well as getting ready to snap away.

The course then smoothly flows into composition, framing the subject and rules of thirds.

The students are now ready to be let loose with their cameras and imagination.

The course suggests subjects and material to photograph as a basis, but the wonderful thing about children and some of us adults, is they have no limits in their imagination, they are not worried about 'getting it wrong'. Things catch their eye that we as adults often overlook.

Each student was given 10 minutes to take photos of landscapes, we regrouped and discussed. Followed by 10 minutes on textures, 10 minutes on water and reflections and so on, including shapes, people and beach art. The kids had great fun taking photos of their shadows, of their feet under the water and the way the water moved.

The Beachsnapper is ideally written for the course to be a long or short as the students involved dictate. As simple or as sophisticated as the entry level requires. Furthermore, it allows students of different abilities to take part on the same course at the same time."


From renowned photographer, Dan Burt:

“The new BSAC Beach Snapper course is a wonderful introduction to photography with an exciting emphasis on the endless possibilities available along the UK’s stunning coastline. After an introduction to the basics of how the camera works, young snappers will be encouraged to look at their surroundings in a different, more creative way. Undoubtedly this course will be the spark for many amazing images taken by BSAC kidz and having seen the results from one course already I think I’d better raise my own game!”



Last Updated on Sep112014


Welcome to Game Zone


We have some games here for you. 


Spot the difference ... can you find 8 differences between two images?




Here you can download answers to spot the difference

Last Updated on Aug162013


Common Starfish

The common starfish is perhaps the most familiar of all starfish, and can be found on almost all seashores around the UK. Starfish are not actually fish!

Starfish are usually orange or pale yellow in colour. These starfish usually grow to between 10 – 30cm across. Most have five arms, but sometimes you may find one with four or even six! Starfish are also capable of re-growing lost arms. A single arm is also capable of re-growing into an entire new animal!

Starfish have thousands of sucker-like tube feet, which help them to walk along and grip onto surfaces. Starfish have eyes on the end of each arm, but these are not like human eyes! They are known as eye spots, which are found underneath its skin.

They can be either black or red.

Starfish are predatory, which means that they hunt and feed on small animals such as mussels and clams. When feeding, the starfish will push its entire stomach out through its mouth and into its prey's shell. Special juices then break down the prey into a soup. Its entire stomach, along with its soup dinner is then pulled back into its mouth. Yuk!


Cushion Star
Cushion stars can be found hiding under rocks and boulders in rock pools.

They are much smaller than other starfish, usually growing up to 5cm across, and have very short arms. Most will always have five arms. The colour of this starfish varies with habitat, but the colour is usually brown, orange or green.

Cushion stars are omnivorous, and will scavenge on dead plants and animals.



 Common Shore Crab


The common shore crab is extremely common in rock pools around the UK. Shore crabs are usually dark green / yellow in colour, but this can vary.

Common shore crabs are considered omnivores, feeding on a wide variety of prey; including algae, sea snails, worms, shrimps, and even other Common Shore Crabs!

Usually grow to about 8cm across.




Edible Crab

Edible crabs are usually found on the lower part of the sea shore. They like to hide, and are often found dug into sediment on the shore.

They are large, with a thick oval shaped body. They are easy to tell apart from the other crabs, as they have black-tipped claws. They are very strong, and make short work of their prey which includes mussels and whelks. Can grow much larger than the common shore crab, usually to about 20cm across!



Common Prawn

Common prawns are found in most rocky areas of the seashore, including rock pools.

They appear almost transparent, apart from the brown lines on their body and yellow bands on their legs.

Common prawns are scavengers, and feed on just about anything!

Usually grow to about 11cm long!



Beadlet Anemone

The Beadlet Anemone can be found on UK rocky shores, and tends to live in rock pools or in very shallow water. These anemones usually attach themselves to a hard surface on the shore.

Like all anemones, Beadlets have tentacles which are used to catch prey, and you can see the tentacles clearly when they are underwater. However, when exposed to air, the anemone retracts its tentacles and often looks just like a blob of jelly attached to a rock on the shore.

Beadlet anemones usually have up to 192 tentacles in total. They 
are usually a deep red colour, so they are easy to spot on the shore. Sometimes they are green, brown or orange.


Snakelocks Anemone

The Snakelocks Anemone is found in shallow water, and in rock pools on the seashore.

They can have slightly more tentacles than beadlet anemones, with up to 200! These tentacles are usually a rich green colour with purple ends.

Tentacles are long and sticky, and are used for catching passing prey.



Common Sea Urchin

The Common Sea Urchin is a slow-moving, rounded creature that can be found in rocky areas around the UK coast.

The skeleton of this animal is usually bright red; however, the white spines that cover the urchin's body usually make them appear pink.

These spines are used for defence. Like starfish, Sea Urchins are also covered in tube-feet which help them move along.

Sea Urchins feed on a variety of prey, including barnacles and algae.




Barnacles are crustaceans, and are related to shrimps, crabs and lobsters! Most barnacles are very small, and can be found all over the UK coast. They live in huge populations on the shore, often with many thousands found on a single rock! The barnacle's body is made up of plates that form a hard shell.

Barnacles will typically grow up to 1.5 – 2cm across.

They feed by extending their long, feather-like legs that will trap any food passing by in the water.


Common Limpet

Limpets are some of the most common animals found on the rocky shores of the UK. They are molluscs, and are related to snails.

They have a very strong, cone-shaped shell that is most often firmly attached to rocks on the seashore. These shells can grow up to 6cm across. Their shells are a good defence from predators such as starfish, who may try to pull the limpets from the rocks.

Limpets are herbivores - that means they feed on algae growing on the rocks. To do this, they move slowly over the rocks surface, scraping algae from the rocks.


Common Mussel

The common mussel is a very well-known marine animal that can sometimes be found on the seashore, or in shallow water.

Shell colouration is usually blue-black. Mussels are known as bivalves (Pronounced: bi-valves), as they have two shells covering their soft body.

Mussels mostly live in large groups, attaching themselves to each other and to rocks with sticky threads. Mussels have a strong muscular foot that is used for digging into the seabed.

Mussels are filter-feeders, and feed on tiny animals that live in the water.

Lots of different animals like to eat mussels, including starfish, crabs and whelks.



Dog-whelks are a common sight on UK seashores. Dog-whelks are carnivores, and are most often found amongst groups of their favourite prey items. These include barnacles, mussels and other varieties of sea snail.

To feed, the dog-whelk will use a special tool to break a hole into the shell of its prey. It will then release special juices into its prey that break it down into a soup, which can be easily sucked up.

Shell colour is generally pale white or grey.



Common Hermit Crab

Hermit crabs are very common on rocky shores, and are often found in rock pools. Most are very small, but large ones can be found.

They are different from other crabs, as they protect their soft bodies using an old snail shell. When it feels threatened, the crab can hide inside its shell to protect itself.

As hermit crabs grow and get bigger, they have to find bigger shells! Hermit crabs are omnivores, eating almost anything! They can also filter feed small particles from the water.


Common Lobster

The common lobster is an iconic sea creature, but is not often seen on the seashore.

They like to hide in rocky areas. The common lobster is a dark blue colour – they only go red when cooked!

They are active predators, and eat lots of different seashore animals, including mussels, snails, crabs and small fish.

Animals found are usually up to around 30cm in length!



Lesser Octopus

Although Octopus are more commonly seen underwater by divers, occasionally they can be found in large rock/tide pools on the seashore.

If ever found, they are usually easy to identify, with their soft bag-like body and eight flexible arms.

Crabs are one of their favourite things to eat.

Their arm span can reach up to 70cm!




Periwinkles are marine snails. They are typically found in rock pools on the seashore.

There are many different kinds of periwinkle, and the most likely to be found include the common periwinkle, rough periwinkle and the flat periwinkle.

Their colours vary.

All periwinkles are herbivorous and graze seaweeds and algae growing on rocks.


Tompot Blenny

Tompot blennies are unusual looking fish, with long bodies and a large head.

Although adult fish are not commonly found on the shore, young tompots can sometimes be found in rock pools.

Colour is usually reddish brown, with dark bands down the body. They usually grow up to a maximum of around 30cm long!

They eat a wide variety of other sea shore animals, including crabs, sea snails and sea anemones.



The shanny is also known as the common blenny.

They are widespread across UK seashores, and are commonly found in rock pools hiding under large rocks.

They have a long body, which is often a greeny-brown colour. They grow up to around 16cm long. Like the famous chameleon, the shanny can also change its body colour to match the colour of its surroundings!

Shannies are not fussy eaters, and will eat anything, including worms, snails, shrimps, barnacles and seaweed!



Corkwing Wrasse

Corkwing wrasse are often found hiding in algae-covered rock pools on the lower part of the shore.

Males (boys) and Females (girls) are different colours. Males are usually more brightly coloured, with hints of bright blue or dark red. Females are usually pale brown.

They grow up to around 25cm long!

A dark spot on their tails may also help to identify this species, but this can sometimes be difficult to see!

These fish usually eat crabs, shrimps and snails.



Seaweeds are not plants. They are algae.

They do not have roots or leafy tissues like most land-growing plants.



Bladder Wrack

Bladder wrack is a large, brown seaweed.

It is found in large numbers on rocky shores.



Toothed Wrack

Toothed wrack is similar to bladder wrack, usually an olive-brown colour and at first glance may look similar to bladder wrack.

However, this seaweed is easily told apart as the fronds are jagged.

It is very common all around the UK coast.



Knotted Wrack

Knotted wrack is usually found on the middle of the seashore. It is very common, and looks just like string!

Fronds have large 'bubbles' which contain air. This allows the seaweed to float in the water!

Some fronds can grow huge, up to 2 metres in length!



Sea Lettuce

Sea lettuce is very easy to spot. It is completely green, and looks just like the lettuce we would eat!

It is common around all shores of the UK, where it grows on rocks or other seaweeds.

Lots of marine animals like to eat this seaweed!







Last Updated on Jul252013

BSAC have got together with Tanya Streeter - World Record Freediver to promote some safety tips to help you enjoy snorkelling safely

Top Ten Tips

seal 2Never dive alone - The minimum snorkelling group is three; a buddy pair in the water and another person on the shore to act as a look out. 

Be Fit - By being fit and healthy you will be able to enjoy your snorkelling more and also be safer.

Train with quialifed instructors.

Check your equipment - A strap breaking on a fin, a split mask seal or a leaking snorkel valve while you're at sea can all cause problems and discomfort. Taking good care of your equipment and checking it carefully before you go will reduce the chance of problems.

Choose a safe site - Avoid areas with heavy boat traffic, dangerous currents and rip tides. Make sure the entrances and exits to the water are easily accessible and that there are alternative places to exit if your dive is cut short.

Check tides - The safest times to snorkel are at the slack water, which usually occurs near high or low water.

Check weather and sea state - Before setting off check the weather forecast. Although rain can be unpleasant it isn't necessarily as difficult to dive in the rain as in a wind. Wind can cause waves to increase which make snorkelling tough. Force 3-4(12mph+) is usually enough to cancel.

Don't hyperventilate - (when you breathing faster or deeper than normal) as it can lead to fainting and black outs.

Don't snorkel with a cold - if you have cold you could force mucus into the Eustachian tubes and cause an infection.

One up, One down - While diving with your buddy, avoid both diving under water at the same time, one should stay on the surface in case the diver has problems

urchin"I have long believed that there is a very strong connection between free diving and snorkelling, and have always been concerned that proper safety is maintained while snorkelling."
Tanya Streeter - World Record Freediver

Last Updated on Jul252013

Once you are 12 years old you can start to learning how to scuba dive with BSAC. 

Scuba Diving is swimming underwater with mask, fins and SCUBA equipment. SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Scuba divers also usually wear a suit, a weight belt and often carry a torch.

dolphin 1scuba

Diving  equipment consists of:

• a cylinder containing compressed air

cylinderseal 2

• regulator with octopus and depth/tank pressure gauge


• mask, fins and snorkel
• A jacket known as a Buoyancy Compensation Device
• A suit, this can be a wetsuit (pictured below) or a drysuit
• weight belt with weights attached
traditional-scuba-weight belt

There are lost of other pieces of equipment you can carry including a torch, a knife, a computer and a surface marker bouy.

Ready to take the plunge?
Learning to dive changes lives of many people. Imagine breathing underwater for the first time and feeling like you don't weigh anything at all. It feels like you are flying. Imagine meeting a crab, a turtle  or a seal face to face ... sound exciting? It really is! If you are old enough and you think you would like to start underwater adventure today, then the course to do is BSAC Ocean Diver.

Ocean DiverTry Dive with BCAS1

This course is for beginners and provides the essential knowledge and skills needed to prepare for open water diving.

The BSAC Ocean Diver course prepares for this in the safety of a swimming pool or sheltered water and introduces you to open water in a controlled, safe manner. Experience and confidence will be gained under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

A basic level of comfort in the water is important and you will have to demonstrate that you can swim 200m in swimwear.

The BSAC Ocean Diver course has three stages:

1. Lessons and theory assessment on the basic principles of scuba diving

2. Five dives in a swimming pool to learn the basics in the water 

3. Five open water dives to further develop your scuba diving skills

At the end of the course you will be qualifed to dive up to 20m deep with a suitable buddy and under the supervision of a dive manager.

Want to see what it is like underwater in the UK? Watch these videos

Last Updated on Jul252013

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BSAC Activities

NEW BSAC Beach Snapper

Posted in Activities Beach Snapper has been introduced to support clubs and dive centres in providing more family-friendly activities.  
5 Aug

Spot the difference

Posted in Activities  

Welcome to Game Zone

  We have some games here for you.   

Spot the difference ... can you find 8 differences between two images?

16 Aug

Marine Id

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Top Tips for Safe Snorkelling

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