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Rockpooling on the Cornish coast - advice and tips from Claire Scott

Throughout the school holidays, Claire and her team offer exciting and engaging opportunities for all ages to make lasting connections with the outdoors - including our Rockpool Explorer event that takes place just off the causeway on your way to the island. Here are her top tips!

With a coastline of over 400 miles you are never far from a rockpool in Cornwall. The shoreline is a dynamic environment. The rockpools are bashed by storms, endure huge changes in temperature from freezing winter days to steamy summer ones. They are rained on and in turn dried out by the hot summer sun altering the salinity of the water in them drastically. In short they are not easy places to live and certainly not for the fainthearted!

The creatures calling the rocky shore their home have adapted in many fascinating ways to live in this ever-changing environment and in turn, we are rewarded with some incredible finds. From limpets to crabs, gobies to sea anemones you will never get bored of discovering the weird and wonderful creatures that live in this varied, harsh habitat.

Before you race out of the door on your voyage of discovery I’m would like to share some top tips for rockpooling.

Pick your day: head out when the weather isn’t too cold, small wet hands will be able to stay out for longer! Rocks and seaweed get very slippery when wet so take care in damp conditions.

Check the tides: it is always best to rock pool on an outgoing tide to avoid being caught out by the sea. Lots of interesting creatures lurk in the pools especially those closest to the sea edge.

Get the kit: you really only need a few things for rockpooling. Good sturdy shoes or wetsuit boots, a bucket, your hands and a sense of adventure! Nets scare creatures off and they can accidentally injure them. Your hands are your best bit of kit, use them to look under rocks and seaweed. Take care of these creatures and make sure the rocks and seaweed is replaced just as you found them. ID books and sheets are always handy, Collins Pocket Guides are great.

Where to look: Rocky shores are very varied with pools, rocks and crevices to explore as well as thick seaweed forests at low tide.

Look after yourself, always check tides, be warm and have good shoes.

Look after this very special habitat, turn back rocks and seaweeds, put creatures back quickly near to where you found them and take only photos and the sense of a day well spent home with you.

Happy rockpooling!

Claire Scott, Great Scott! Adventures Outdoors

If you would like to take a walk on the wild side and join Great Scott! Adventures Outdoors for a rummage in the rockpools, visit our events page for upcoming activities.

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