These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Love your saltmarsh activity

Love your saltmarsh is an activity about the benefits we get from nature and making difficult choices about coastal management.  When there is no saltmarsh and mudflat in front of a LEGO® town, participants discover that they spend more of their chocolate coins to build and maintain a higher sea wall.

The core activity was designed for students aimed at student 7-11 in the context of a science festival, with the resource pack primarily aimed at researchers and STEM ambassadors.  However, there are plenty of ideas for adaptation for different ages/abilities and a classroom setting.  It can be used as a simple experiment and to support learning in different regional curricula areas such as:

  • working scientifically
  • advantages and disadvantages of a proposed land use development
  • positive & negative human impact on the environment
  • citizenship
  • friction, forces and waves

Key learning outcomes include:

  • Salt marshes and mudflats reduce the height of waves arriving at the shoreline and so can reduce coastal erosion & flooding
  • ‘Soft’ coastal defences are often a less expensive way of managing coastal erosion and flooding than building and maintaining ‘hard’ coastal defences
  • As a society, we need to make decisions about where and how we spend money on coastal defences and what we want our coast to look like

The pack is in three versions to link with the regional curricula and also in Welsh. Packs also include researcher career profiles.

This is a resource from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Sustainability programme which was a Natural Environment Research Council research project which ran from 2011 to 2017.


Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category Three Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.