The strandline offers shelter and food to a diverse range of wildlife, but of course you never know quite what you might find here as it moves with the tides. Shells, feathers, skulls and egg cases might get caught up in piles of rotting seaweed or blown away by the wind. It's a very windy day when Brett Westwood and Phil Gates scour the strandline, and having retrieved their 'treasure' they head off to the shelter of the dunes to share their booty; shells of various kinds, a feathers, a piece of sea sandwort and some seaweed flies - one of the few insects which you might find on the beach. Other creatures which you might be lucky enough to find include a sea potato or burrowing sea urchin. After they have died, what remains is a beautiful heart-shaped case covered in tiny holes which mark the point where muscular feet once protruded. When alive, the urchins burrow into the sand and filter food out of the sea water. Strandlines are also good places to look for whelk egg cases, which resemble pieces of bubble wrap, but as we hear are the sites of cannibalism and molluscan violence! But perhaps the most highly prized find on a strandline would be a mermaid's purse; the egg case of a dog fish or skate although the latter are very rare. And as Phil reveals he's not only found egg cases in the past but had a close encounter with the adult - a relative of a shark - and survived to tell the tale!
Producer Sarah Blunt.