Fishing for marine life in Yorkshire rock pools of wonder

PIC: James HardistyPIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
There are few childhood experiences more treasured than being a wide-eyed youngster exploring a rock pool.

We’ve all done it and each of us has our own memories of clambering carefully across slippery, seaweed-clad rocks, fishing stick in hand, in search of the natural wonders contained within these miniature kingdoms.

For me it was Hope Cove, in Devon, where hermit crabs and scary-looking eels could be found in the shadowy nooks and crannies of this semi-submerged world.

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The UK is awash with rocky coves and beaches that allow us to find this wondrous microcosm of life under the waves, places like Selwicks Bay, seen here sheltered by the looming white chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head and its famous lighthouse.

The beach at South Landing on Flamborough Headland is rated by the Wildlife Trust as one of the best places for rock pools on the UK’s vast coastline.

The chalk boulders create a rockpooling paradise for all manner of marine creatures and at low tide this strange, otherworldly kelp forest is exposed. Here you can find crabs along with anemones, periwinkles, piddocks and even lobster - which are plentiful along the North East coast.

We are fortunate in this country to have such an abundance of marine life on our doorstep. Each rock pool holds its own unique treasures - whether it’s shrimp bobbing in the water or crabs skulking under clumps of seaweed.

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Starfish and barnacles clinging to rocks and kelp gently wafting in the water are common sights. So, too, are the mysterious looking anemones that sit on the pool floor.

The plants and animals that live here are both fascinating and hardy, surviving a constantly changing environment with fluctuating water temperatures and an exposure to sunlight for long periods.

At this time of year the water is at its coldest, but it will warm up over the coming months when a new generation of children can discover the simple, yet fathomless, joy of rock pools.

Technical details: Nikon D3s camera, Nikon 17-55mm lens with an exposure of 1/500th sec @ f8, ISO 400.

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