A Guide to Rockpooling
Rockpooling is a great way to explore the intertidal zone and see some of the amazing creatures that live there. It's also a fun and educational activity for all ages.
What is Rockpooling?
Rockpooling is the activity of exploring tide pools or rock pools. Tide pools are areas of water that are left behind when the tide goes out. They are home to a variety of marine life, including fish, crabs, and anemones.
How to Rockpool
Rockpooling is a relatively simple activity. All you need are some basic supplies such as:
sturdy footwear such as surf shoes or wellies
A bucket; ideally clear or white so that you can see your finds
A fishing net; the type you can but from beach shops is fine
Protective gloves if you are planning on lifting any rocks
A wildlife ID guide; either a book, website or an app
Once you have your supplies, you're ready to start rockpooling. The first step is to find a good spot to pool. Look for an area of exposed rocks with pools of water between them.
Approach your chosen pool quietly without casting a shadow over it, otherwise any critters in there will hide.
Once you've found a good spot, start exploring. Look for any interesting creatures that you can find. Be careful not to disturb the creatures too much, as they are delicate and can be easily damaged.
When you're finished exploring, take some time to learn about the creatures that you found. There are many great resources available, such as books, websites, and apps.
Tips for Rockpooling
Here are a few tips for rockpooling:
Wear suitable shoes that you don't mind getting wet.
Bring a bucket, a net, and a guide to rockpooling.
Be careful not to disturb the creatures too much.
Check tide times; you don't want to get cut off by the incoming tide.
Take some time to learn about the creatures that you found.
The Best Places for Rockpooling in the UK
www.countryfile.com has researched and lists these places as the best places to go rockpooling in the UK:
1. Rockpooling at Wembury, Plymouth
Wembury, Plymouth was voted for by Bill Oddie as his top spot; there is a great variety of sealife to be found here including anemones and starfish.
2. Rockpooling at Rhossili Bay, Gower
Here you will find a perfectly round, deep plunge pool, and also ancient caves that reportedly contain gold coins from a Portuguese shipwreck.
3. Rockpooling at The Brough of Birsay, off the coast of Orkney
Off the coast of Orkney, there lies a small island called the Brough of Birsay. A causeway leading to the island is visible at low tide, along with a variety of rockpools. Cowrie shells are often found here, known locally as groatie buckies as well as starfish, anemones, and crabs.
4. Rockpooling at Hope Gap, Sussex
This is another great spot for rockpooling with a great variety of wildlife including strawberry anemones.
5. Rockpools at Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall
Treyarnon Bay has a lovely beach of golden sand, and low, rocky cliffs, creating several pools in their crevices and gullies, particularly on the northern side.
At low tide a natural 30 foot long swimming pool is revealed which at 2.5m depth in the centre is deep enough for snorkelling.
6. Rockpooling at Robin Hoods Bay
When the tide goes out at Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire, a large area of rockpools is revealed and is ideal to visit with children as no climbing is needed to reach the rockpools.
Rockpooling is a great way to explore the intertidal zone and see some of the amazing creatures that live there. It's also a fun and educational activity for all ages. So next time you're at the beach, be sure to give rockpooling a try!
There a certainly an amazing variety of wildlife that can be found on British beaches; take a look at our guide here: Exploring the Unique Wildlife of British Beaches (seasidejewellery.com)