We will, we will, ROCK POOL!
You’re never too old to grab your bucket and gently submerge it into the rocky waters, seeing what creatures you can find – before gently popping them back, of course. You can also pick up rocks and check underneath them for creatures living underneath, or have a look in bunches of seaweed for a special surprise. However you decide to do it, it’s a great and low cost way to enjoy the Great British outdoors. There are loads of places around the UK with great potential for observing sealife – like crabs, snails, starfish, shrimps and more – so make the most of a staycation this summer!
The best places to go rockpooling are sheltered rocky beaches – as well as piers, which also tend to be home to many strange and interesting creatures. Try Treyarnon Cove in Cornwall, known for snorkelling thanks to the length and depth of its natural tidal pool. For something a little more up north… South Landing Beach in Flamborough is fantastic for spotting sealife. Plus – the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Centre can be found here, and they often put on activity days and events for kids.
It’s never too late to give it a go for the first time.
Here’s our step by step mini guide to rockpooling:
1. Get the right equipment. You will need a bucket, and even better if its transparent so you can observe your finds even better without disturbing them too much. We don’t recommend using a net because small critters can get caught up and injured this way. You will also need water shoes that are waterproof and sturdy – rockpooling is sharp and slippy business. You may even want some gloves – be careful when handling crabs, for example.
2. Search online for the best rockpooling locations near you. Doing your research before you go means you will find out handy tips such as the best time of day to go, and what creatures you can expect to find – so you know what to look out for. You should also be wary of incoming tides, and when it will begin to get dark.
3. Once at your rockpooling location – with your bucket in your sturdy shoes – fill up your bucket with seawater, rocks, and seaweed to create a faux natural environment for crabs and so on. You may want to try using a bit of bait to encourage them! Observe your findings – maybe even take photographs so you can properly research them later. Then – put everything (and everyone) back. Always fill and empty your bucket gently and carefully so as not to scare or hurt the sealife.