Wonders of the rockpools

Close up shot of nature in a rockpool in Cornwall


Even in the winter, there’s plenty to see and do on Cornwall’s beaches. Intrepid adventurers Wilf and Megan set off on a journey of exploration with their dad to seek out some of the treasures the rock pools at Mawnan beach (nr Helford) have to offer.

They were amazed at how many different types of creatures they found in just a short amount of time: a dhalia anenome, a sea urchin eating a tiny brittle star, a colony sea squirts, star ascidians, pipe fish, giant and rock goby, freshwater eel, velvet swimmer crab, hermit crab, porcelain crab montagus crab, cushion star, star analeds and scaleworms.


What better introduction to seashore life than to see (and sometimes touch) it in its natural habitat?

See more of the creatures Wilf and Megan found in our rockpooling adventure album.

Top tips for winter rock pooling:

1. Wellies and warm clothing are a must.
2. Don’t forget something warm to drink – a flask of tea or coffee for the gown ups, and hot chocolate or hot squash for the little ones will go down a treat.
3. You can buy reusable hand warmers (gel pouches that you can put in your pocket to warm cold fingers) cheaply from most outdoor shops
4. Check the tides before you go – on some beaches the rock pools disappear at high tide
5. Take a seashore identification book with you so you can look up the creatures and plants you find. The classic I Spy books are great for keeping older children busy ticking off what they’ve spotted
6. Take only pictures – don’t forget to return any creatures you’ve caught back to where you found them.


As a result of her thoughtful suggestion, this post has been linked to the Outdoor Play Party hosted by Abbie at the fabulous Greening Sam and Avery. For more stories and inspiration on getting your own children outdoors and playing, visit the Outdoor Play Party every week via any of the hosting blogs which includes Abbie’s, together with Mama Pea Pod, Learning for Life and The Golden Gleam, all of which are must-read parenting blogs.

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Action Nan and the rest of the team are always busy writing posts that we think you’ll like – from top tips on where to take the kids, to what’s likely to be going on in the local area when you stay – we’ve got it all in our blog!