How to press seaweed | BBC Wildlife Magazine

How to press seaweed | BBC Wildlife Magazine

Bonus harian di Keluaran SGP 2020 – 2021.

Pressing seaweed is a lovely way to appreciate the different colours and shapes of the weeds.

Submerge a piece of thick paper and arrange your seaweed on top. © Heather Buttivant

Plants on the beach are full of surprises. Below the tide line, you enter the realm of seaweed. These plants have no roots or flowers, but are as beautiful as any garden plants.

How to collect seaweed

There are numerous species of seaweed found around our coastlines, discover 12 species to look out for in our guide by naturalist Paul Evans.

For seaweed pressing, you don’t want pieces of seaweed that are too large to fit onto your piece of paper, so bear that in mind when picking up seaweed and choose small enough pieces.

Avoid pieces of seaweed that are home to wildlife. Some wildlife species, like crabs or snails, can be transferred to other pieces of seaweed, but some, like bryozoan mats, cannot.

Collecting seaweed from the strand line. © Heather Buttivant

Collecting seaweed from the strand line. © Heather Buttivant


How to press seaweed

You Will Need

  • Deep tray
  • Sheet of heavy paper, Watercolour paper is ideal
  • Fresh water
  • Greaseproof baking paper
  • Paper towels
  • Newspaper
  • Heavy towels

Step 1

Rinse your seaweed in fresh water. Part fill your tray with water and place your sheet of watercolour paper at the bottom.

Half fill a deep tray on washing up bowl with tap water. © Heather Buttivant

Half fill a deep tray on washing up bowl with tap water. © Heather Buttivant

Step 2

Float your seaweed over the paper until you are happy with the position.

Submerge a piece of thick paper and arrange your seaweed on top. © Heather Buttivant

Submerge a piece of thick paper and arrange your seaweed on top. © Heather Buttivant

Step 3

Slowly lift the paper out. Gently dry with paper towels and lay on some newspaper. Cover with a paper towel and some more newspaper.

Carefully lift your paper out keeping it flat and pat dry with kitchen roll. © Heather Buttivant

Carefully lift your paper out keeping it flat and pat dry with kitchen roll. © Heather Buttivant

Step 4

Place between heavy books. Check each day and change the newspaper and paper towel until your pressed seaweed is completely dry.

Cover with kitchen roll and put newspaper under and over the paper then cover with heavy books. © Heather Buttivant

Cover with kitchen roll and put newspaper under and over the paper then cover with heavy books. © Heather Buttivant

Step 5

Admire your dried seaweed!

Change the kitchen roll and newspaper daily until your pressed seaweed is completely dry. © Heather Buttivant

Change the kitchen roll and newspaper daily until your pressed seaweed is completely dry. © Heather Buttivant


Heather Buttivant is a writer and educator who specialises in introducing people to the mysterious wildlife beneath the Cornish waves. Her popular blog, Cornish Rock Pools, won the BBC Wildlife Magazine Blog of the Year Award in 2017 and she has appeared on BBC Countryfile. She is often found crawling through seaweed wearing waders or running children’s events for Cornwall Wildlife Trust in her ‘I love sea slugs’ t-shirt.

Heather Buttivant photo

This is an edited extract from Beach Explorer: 50 Things To See and Discover by Heather Buttivant. Published by September Publishing, £10.99.

Beach Explorer cover

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