Gutweed is a common seaweed found on all UK shores and in many different habitats, including rock pools, sand, mud and even shells and other seaweeds! It is often seen with bubbles of air trapped inside its long fronds which have the look of intestines, hence its name. If detached, Gutweed can create large floating masses, buoyed by the gas in their inflated tubular fronds. Dense growths of Gutweed provide shelter for many other creatures, with their moist fronds providing a low tide refuge on the high shore.
How to identify
Gutweed is a mass of bright green, inflated tubes, often with pinched-in 'waists' along its length. Fronds are typically unbranched.
This fast-growing species reproduces quickly and can turn water green with the release of masses of gametes and spores.
How people can help
Seaweeds provide a vital link in the food chain for many of our rarer species. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust or checking out our Action pages.