Marine and estuarine surveys

The Thomson marine team handles all benthic and epibenthic survey requirements.

Our extensive team of experienced and qualified surveyors capable of conducting inter-tidal and sub-tidal surveys using a variety of sampling gear.

Subtidal surveys

We have over 25 years of experience in conducting sub-tidal surveys and have Standard Operating Procedures for a wide range of sub-tidal survey methods including

  • Dredge
  • Anchor dredge
  • Day grab
  • Beam Trawl (including in-situ identification)
  • Van Veen grab
  • Hamon grab
  • Mini-Hamon grab
  • Box corer / grab
  • Video and stills.

We own a variety of the more commonly used sampling gear and are able to respond to the diverse requirements of different surveys.


Our survey staff are fully trained and hold appropriate safety and medical certification, and are often deployed on surveys throughout the UK and further afield.

Service scope

Our clients often require sub-tidal surveys to determine principal habitats and community types (biotopes) present for

  • Baseline data for environmental impact assessments (EIAs)
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Shoreline developments
  • Supporting data for Marine Conservation Zones.

Our surveys always take into account your requirements as our client and, where necessary, the approval of the appropriate licensing authorities. We deliver surveys in the most cost-effective manner using locally-sourced vessels, and in the minimum amount of time necessary.

Once the survey is complete we can conduct all associated benthic taxonomy, particle size analysis, video and stills analysis and data analysis and reporting.

Inter-tidal surveys

Covering a range of habitats from salt marshes, mud flats, estuaries, rocky shores and sandy beaches, we have experience of conducting a variety of surveys in the inter-tidal environment.

Within the built environment, we have experience of executing surveys on sea walls, sea defences, pontoons and harbours.

Our survey design team help to design surveys appropriate to the habitat in question and using the appropriate method, whether on foot, by boat or hovercraft. Our survey team have been through appropriate internal and external training, and hold licences for a range of protected species. Through the use of our mobile mapping devices our staff can easily record the exact location of sample collection and associated metadata.

We have conducted surveys across the whole of the UK, including many estuaries. This includes over 60 projects on the Thames – including work for the London Eye, Millennium Dome, Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern.

To talk to our team of experts about how we can help you with your marine survey requirements, please get in touch today.

Our Covid-19
Business Response

Find out more