I’ve just come back from a spending a few days on the Isle of Wight. On one of the days we went rockpooling with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
The session was held at Bembridge beach. As the tide went out ledges of stone and rock pools were clearly visible.
Tables, buckets and empty milk cartons were readily available for the 50 of more people who had turned up to learn about what creatures are exposed by the receding tide.
The milk cartons were cut in half and used as scoops as nets can sometimes damage the tiny fish and animals.
Very quickly the buckets were being filled up ready for identification by the Wildlife Trust staff.
Rockpools are pools of water that are left behind when the tide goes out, they can be a very challenging environment for the creatures that inhabit them. In summer these pools can become very warm and the oxygen levels can drop dangerously before the next high tide. Often predator and prey can be trapped together in a game of deadly hide and seek until either the predator out smarts the prey or the incoming tide allows escape.
Crabs, sea urchins, Shanny’s, anemones, prawns, srimps and various winkles were all looked at before being released back in to the water.
Once everyone started to go back up the beach for ice cream or a swim we stayed to watch the birds return including three Little Egrets who fished amongst the seaweed on one of the ledges.