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28 October 2014

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You are in: Devon > Nature > Nature Features > Rockpooling at Wembury

The rocks at Wembury Beach

Go on - get your toes wet at Wembury!

Rockpooling at Wembury

There's an amazing array of things to see among the rocks at low tide at Wembury. We've been rockpooling - and just look at what we found.

If you go to Wembury Beach at the right time of the day and you know where to look, you can find all sorts of seashore creatures hidden among the rocks.

The best time to go rockpooling is about an hour before low tide to an hour after low tide, giving you two hours to go searching.

At Wembury, there is an education centre run by the Devon Wildlife Trust. The trust runs summertime rockpool rambles for groups, and this is a great way to find out what to look out for - and where.

Searching for seashore creatures

Searching for seashore creatures

Or you can get some tips from the interactive exhibits at the centre, before heading off to the rocks.

We were lucky on our rockpool search - we had help from the volunteers, who led us to to all the best places. Within an hour or so, we had found a dozen different species.

Cat Ridout is a marine awareness offficer for the trust, and she is based at Wembury during the summer months.

She has some top tips on rockpooling - and this one is probably the most important: "You need to know your tide times," said Cat. "And you need to keep an eye on the tide and the time.

"Be careful and don't get cut off.

"The best tide is a low spring tide. You'll find more things and better things.

Cat Ridout

Cat Ridout of the Devon Wildlife Trust

"Another good tip is to get out as far as you can, safely. Stay low down in the gullies, where there is sea and seaweed."

Cat says you can find seashore creatures all year round, but Spring is the best time: "They're having their babies then and they want safe places, and that's the rockpools."

There is a seashore code which rockpoolers should follow:

  • Use seawater in containers and put one creature in at a time
  • Be gentle with the creatures and put them back where you found them - they may have a mate or eggs to return to
  • Leave limpets on the rocks - they're animals and an important part of the rocky shore
  • Make sure shells are empty before you take them home
  • Be careful where you tread - there may be little creatures around.

Always go rockpooling with a companion - if you twist an ankle for example, you'll need some help. And take your litter home with you, as that piece of rubbish can prove fatal for marine animals and birds.

Among the creatures we (or, to be more accurate, the trust volunteers) found were anemones, shore crabs, pipe fish, sea scorpion, spiny star fish, Cornish sucker fish, edible crabs, and limpets - lots of them!

It's not just the seashore which is teeming with life at Wembury. If you get time, a walk along the coast path takes you to areas where you may be able to spot birds such as the rare cirl bunting or peregrine falcons.

Take a look at the top 10 of things to find at Wembury, in the gallery which is linked from this page.

last updated: 01/08/2008 at 17:10
created: 20/08/2007

You are in: Devon > Nature > Nature Features > Rockpooling at Wembury

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