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28 October 2014

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You are in: Jersey > Nature > Nature Features > Poking about in rock pools

Hermit crabs

Hermit crabs often live in rock pools

Poking about in rock pools

Nature expert Mike Stentiford explains why poking about in rock pools is more than just fun.

Did you spend many a happy summer dabbling around in rock pools at the beach? Fishing net in hand, peering into the depths of a rock pool, collecting a bucketful of weird and wonderful creatures.

With such a varied and beautiful coastline most people who grew up in Jersey are no stranger to poking about in the rocks at low tide.

Jersey nature expert Mike Stentiford told BBC Jersey why he’s so enthusiastic about the joys of rock-pooling, and how he’s hoping islanders are passing on their enjoyment to their children and grand-children.

“It’s a strange thing, here we are surrounded by this wonderful maritime environment, there is an absolutely new world out there completely within our grasp, and yet we know so very little about it,” he explained.

Child at the water's edge

Young children are fascinated by the beach

Aliens

He said rock pooling was fascinating for children because what you discover is  unlike anything you come across elsewhere in nature.

“Much that you find in a rock pool can be construed by young people as sort of an alien, because they are so totally different to what they’re used to on the land.

“All these wonderful little shellfish, the crabs, squat lobsters, slipper limpets, it’s a whole new world, not just for youngsters but for adults as well.

A lot of the time adults will accompany the youngsters and it’s an eye-opener for everybody,” Mike added.

“Because we’re at the start of the summer holidays I’m sure there’s going to be quite a few young eyes opened over the course of the next few weeks.”

Children at the beach

Interest in nature sparks a desire to protect it

Conserving for the future

But keeping an eye on the creatures in the rock pools is not just interesting; it’s also a good way of monitoring the health and richness of the whole environment.

“We always say if the wildlife is flourishing, whether it’s in the maritime environment or on the land mass, that’s always a very good indication that everything is well and good,” he explained.

Mike, who is leader of the National Trust for Jersey's Coastline Campaign, said it was important to engage children in the marine environment as it will help conserve it for future generations.

“If you get them interested in something then the next step is that they’ll want to protect it,” he said.

last updated: 22/07/2008 at 14:13
created: 22/07/2008

You are in: Jersey > Nature > Nature Features > Poking about in rock pools

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