A Sunny Day At The Beach

Thankfully, the sunshine we ordered for our Beach Day was delivered this morning and we had a lovely day for exploring the beach! Young and old alike showed great enthusiasm in finding all sorts of creatures along the low tide line. Belinda and Paul, from the Heritage Coast, were on hand to fascinate us with all their knowledge and facts! I must admit that I never knew that crabs ‘shed’ their shells just like snakes shed their skin. I just thought their were a lot of dead crabs on our beaches!

 

We began our search in earnest finding a lot of dog whelk shells, some of which were providing a new home for hermit crabs. Hermit crabs live on the low tide line of the shore so once we started looking we soon found an abundance of hermit crabs. The dog whelks that were found were an array of colours, including golden coloured shells that the boys decided must mean that they were very special. Their very own treasure! Some of the children found very large ‘dog whelk’ shells but Belinda helpfully informed us that the larger shells are in fact common whelks.

 

I got lucky and managed to find an alive common whelk that was stuck to a small pebble so it meant I could bring it back to the collection trays for everyone to see.

 

 

A Rockpool Ramble wouldn’t be complete though without finding big crabs and as the time went on the competitive spirit grew and grew! Two fairly large Edible crabs were found along with a much smaller crab called a Velvet Swimming crab.

An unusual looking fish was found by Paul and it immediately generated much interest from everyone. In particular the boys who were all being very brave wanting to hold it. The fish in question was a Rockling, not only was it very wriggly but it also had some mean looking teeth! Belinda warned us that she had in fact been bitten by one previously, although that did nothing to quell the queue of children and adults wanting a closer look!

 

Among the shells that were found were ‘Tops’, we found Grey Tops and Purple Tops. They had an iridescent surface and when spun like a spinning top, hence the name, looked very pretty.

 

 

 

Both red and brown anemones were also spotted and Oliver found touching them, gently of course, very tickly!

 

Once we had a large collection of creatures we all spent time having a closer look and swapping the information we had found out about each one.

 

 

 

 

After much interest and discussion, all the creatures were released again into a rockpool and this provided just as much interest. We all watched intently as the crabs buried themselves into the sand to hide. One of the Edible crabs had found a snack in the bucket it had been placed in, a sand worm, and it was clear he was not letting his dinner go!

On the walk back up to the top of the beach, our adventurers had not quite finished and managed to find another type of crab, the Shore crab.

The event was a great success, in that not only did we have perfect weather but everyone had a smile on their face! We all learnt a lot, including the adults, and it became clear that we have a lot of varied creatures living in our rockpools, you just need to look closely.

Transition Llantwit would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to all that attended today and to Belinda and Paul at the Heritage Coast for all their informative input and effort.

(I took over 80 photos today and unfortunately I don’t have the space to load them all onto the website. I am, however, hoping to add them all to our Facebook group ‘Transition Llantwit’ or alternatively email us at transitionllantwit@googlemail.com and we can send the relevant photos to you via email.)

Sam Secker
Transition Llantwit
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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kayleigh Green on October 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Oliver and I would like to thank you all for the effort put into today. We had a lovely afternoon and enjoyed learning about (and feeling!) all the different creatures.
    Hopefully we will join you all again next time 🙂

    Reply

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, it is always lovely to get feedback. I’m glad you had such a great time and Oliver was a pleasure to have in our group today! As for seeing us again, would you like me to add your email address to our mailing list? That way you will always know what we are up to. 🙂

      Reply

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