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Half Term Rockpool Ramble

June 8, 2012

Wednesday 6th June, the sun was shining and the weather certainly was sweet for our Half Term Rockpool Ramble here at Kimmeridge, led by Marine Warden Marc, with help from Anne and myself, Emma.  How lucky we all were to have the sun come out for the afternoon after a rather miserable morning!  Most of our ramblers were happy to sit quietly and patiently in the sunshine for the rockpool residents to make an appearance and this is in fact one of my top tips.  I am always surprised and excited by the amount I have seen by simply sitting, waiting and watching.  The best example of this on our rockpool ramble was the sea hare which was spotted by the keen eyes of Oscar and Louis’ dad.  The sea hare – a type of sea slug –  has beautiful camouflage resembling seaweed and as a result it has a tendency to be overlooked in rockpools, but on this occasion it proved the highlight of the day for Louis: “it was the best thing I’ve seen today” he said,  “and my dad found it!”, added Oscar eagerly. 

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Oscar and Louis by the rockpool

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Sea hare

We also spotted some hermit crabs, shore crabs, prawns, grey sea slug eggs, beadlet anemones, snakelocks anemones, toothed topshells and beautiful seaweeds.

Ilan took part in the ramble with his younger sister Michal and as well as finding a snakelocks anemone he said he particularly enjoyed “looking for things like different seaweeds” and learning about Bladder Wrack.  Bladder Wrack typically grows rather densely and forms mats of long ribbons up to 1 metre long and 5 centimetres across.  The air-filled bladders give the seaweed its name and these enable the seaweed to float up from its rocky anchorages and keep vertical when under water.

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Ilan searching under rocks for rockpool inhabitants

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Michal looking at some interesting shells

Euan, Jamie and Danny also loved coming along to the ramble and said they were “amazed” to learn about and put names to different creatures they had not taken notice of before, in particular the limpets and beadlet anemones. 

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Euan and Jamie taking in what the rockpool has to offer

Come and join me on our next Rockpool Ramble where we’ll be sure to find more exciting creatures!  To find out more about this and our other events such craft days and eco crabbing give me a call on 01929 481044 and I can tell you when we’ll next be heading out or visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events 

Text and photos by Emma Godden

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