Friends of the Fowey Estuary

It was a wonderful autumnal morning on Tuesday 30th October and whilst hurricane Sandy was battering the US eastern seaboard, our little haven at Readymoney Cove, Fowey was bathed in sunshine with calm winds.

The half-term holidays brought out lots of families to the event, familiar faces, visitors, people from all walks of life; over 50 keen adventurers came to explore the amazing diversity of marine life right on our doorstep.

Matt Slater from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust led the event and gave us an exciting introduction to what we might find on the shoreline, we were taught how to safely hold a shore crab and how to respect the animals we found by handling them gently and replacing their boulder hide-outs as we found them.

We were all keen to get onto the shore, so off we all went with buckets and shore guides at the ready! We didn’t get further than the first rockpool before Matt showed us the some of the rich variety of species found on our shores including the green shore crab, the edible or pasty crab (for which Readymoney is a nursery area), beadlet and strawberry anemones, starfish, sea urchins and a pre-historic-looking chiton. We were also told of the warfare on the shore, the limpets going off from their home scar to graze the green algae on the rocks and the predatory dog whelks which use special mouthparts to drill through the shells of limpets and other molluscs to reach the soft flesh inside. So look out for little round holes in empty molluscs shells and you will know their fate. We were amazed to find a number of different fish including pipe fish and shannies, all of which survive in the damp environment under the rocks when the tide is out.

We had a fantastic morning and I think we all learnt something about or wonderful marine life.

Matt and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust are keen to get people involved in protecting our seas through the designation of Marine Conservation Zones around the UK coastline, so if you would like to see better protection of our marine world, support the project by by clicking HEREl

Claire



Photo Gallery Rockpool Ramble 30.10.12 YouTube