Let’s go Rockpooling!
There are four types of shoreline: muddy, shingle, rocky and sandy. Here in the Bideford area we are blessed with all of these, but if you are going rockpooling the obvious place to go is Westward Ho! There you will find the sandy and rocky shore and the best place to start is to the left of the slipway where the rocks begin at the low tide.
To keep it simple, the shore is divided into 3 zones: upper, mid and lower. Although the species overlap, you are more likely to find the interesting species in the mid and lower shore zones.
When rockpooling you will need some basic things: wellies or shoes you can get wet, a bucket and an ID Guide. It is not recommended you use a net as they can damage many rockpool animals!
The Rockpool Code:
Tread very carefully. Seaweed can be very slippery if you walk on it.
Don’t knock limpets off the rocks. They anchor themselves to their “home scar” and trap water beneath their shell.
Any creatures you put in a bucket must be kept cool by frequently changing the water when the sun warms it and they must be released where you found them. Some creatures like dark weedy places and do not like being exposed to the sun!
Do not poke anemones. They can sting, and you can damage them.
If you turn stones over to see what lives beneath, please turn them back as you found them.
Respect any animals you find.
Here are some of the things you might find: limpets, barnacles, crabs, prawns, small fish, worms of many different types, molluscs (shells) anemones and of course seaweeds. And some with very long names like the creature in the picture!
The main thing to remember is HAVE FUN!
Coastwise North Devon are running a Public Rockpool Ramble on B H Monday 28th May at Westward Ho!. Meet on the slipway at 11.00 (11.00 – 13.00)
Women’s History Month.
February 2018 marks 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act which gave women over 30 and with £5 of property the right to vote ; this March as we celebrate Women’s History Month it is important to remember the sacrifices and courage of Devon and Bideford women who fought so hard for equality and democratic representation, especially in the 10 years leading up to the Equal Franchise Act of 1928.
Devon has many links to the women’s Suffrage movement and its success, as well as to prominent women within the movement. Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the founders of the WSPU, was arrested in Plymouth and spent time in Exeter prison during the time of the “Cat and Mouse Act ,” as well as links between Christabel and protests in Torquay. Throughout the year there are multiple exhibitions, both locally and nationally, to mark the centenary so look out for them in the press and on line.