Wear sturdy, non-slip shoes and don’t forget to pack sun cream!
BRING A FRIEND:
Go rock pooling in pairs or groups so someone can help if something goes wrong.
CHECK TIDE TIMES:
It's best to explore rock pools at low tide. Always be aware when the tide is coming in, so you don’t get stranded!
Most rockpool creatures are visible by watching from the side, but it's best to use a bucket or cup if you try to catch anything as animals can get stuck in nets. Make sure to return creatures to their pools as soon as possible.
LEAVE NO TRACE:
Make sure to take any litter home and leave things as you found them - if you move a rock, you could be moving someone's house!
BE IN THE KNOW:
Some creatures can sting or nip, so make sure you know what to avoid. Don't touch anything you don't recognise!
LIMPETS have tongues called radula that are covered in tiny teeth. They use these to scrape and eat algae off the rocks. More impressive still, these teeth are made from the strongest biological material ever tested!
When beach combing you might find what looks like a dead crab, but just as humans outgrow clothes, crabs outgrow their shell and need to shed it as they get bigger. The empty shells are called MOULTS and look like an identical copy of the crab that has left it behind.
ANEMONES are related to jellyfish and use their tentacles in the same way: to sting and catch prey like small crabs and fish. Their tentacles are retracted at low tide to prevent the anemone from drying out!
MERMAID’S PURSES are egg cases produced by some species of shark and ray! Often mistaken for seaweed, these tough pouches protect developing shark and ray embryos and can take up to 15 months to hatch, depending on the species.
Blennies and gobies are the more common fish species you will find in rockpools, but if you are lucky you might spot a ROCKLING! Often mistaken for eels, they are a long slender fish that are usually found hiding between gaps in the rocks.