What a brilliant way to finish off the half term! Eleven families booked on to our ‘Beachcombing for the Weird & Wonderful’ event – we spent a couple of hours wandering along the beach in the company of John Dempsey (Sefton Coast & Landscape Partnership Scheme). Who’d have thought there was such a variety of fascinating objects washed up on the shore here at Formby?
The water had receded to leave an amazing array of items to be discovered on the tide line: ‘monkey brains’ which turned out to be the egg casings of Dog Whelks; ‘mermaid’s purses’ – the egg cases of dogfish; tonnes of pieces of coal eroded from coal seams off the coast of North Wales; Sea Potatoes, hairy wee beasties related to starfish & sea urchins.
We also found a huge assortment of shells too: razor shells, tower shells, necklace shells, prickly cockles, mussels and a species I never even knew existed – the Gaper.
The most exciting find of the walk was a Sea Mouse; this bizarre little critter is a very rare find. It’s called a ‘mouse’ but is really a worm – it has the ability to refract light using the hair-like spines on its back, so that it flashes red as a defence strategy, or other colours in less stressful situations.
Everybody had an absolutely wonderful time; both children & adults were so excited each time a new discovery was made.
I must thank John. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time in his company – his wealth of knowledge is staggering and it was great to learn so much in such a relatively short space of time.
The Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership has a wide programme of activities over the next few months.
To find out more
Call: 0151 934 2964
There are more photos of our walk on the Partnership's Facebook page