Our guide to Cornish rock pooling

Activities

WHERE TO HEAD TO:

For this fun family activity, all of Falmouth's beaches are fabulous spots. Choose from Castle, Gyllyngvase, Swanpool or Maenporth beach and get exploring. Remember to check the tides - you can also pick up a copy of the tide times from the Falmouth Tourist Information Centre. We love roaming when the tide is very low with a bucket and net in hand.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

At first the pools might look empty, but keep still and beneath the water the marine life will soon spring into action. Here are the major stars to look out for:

Tompot Blenny - distinctive red eyes and red tentacles protrude from its head like a stylish hat.

Pipefish - as their names suggests, this fish is long and thin and like seahorses, the male pipefish carries the young in his brooding pouch.

Velvet Swimming Crab - bright red eyes, bright blue banding on its legs and covered in dark hairs, this aggressive little creature packs a mean punch with its strong pincers.

Common Prawn - so transparent you can see all their internal organs as they dart around the water in jerky spasms.

Snake-locks Anemone - bright green with purple tips, this elegant creature has a sting in its tail; its tentacles are used to stun passing fish.

Starfish and Urchins - these striking creatures are symmetrical with arms radiating out from a central body.

Sea Squirts and Anemones - characterised by their soft bodies, find these critters attached to rocks on lower shores.

Crustaceans - there are three main types of crab you might see lurking in the waters - Shore, Hermit and Edible. Also look out for shrimps and barnacles.

Molluscs - these include sea slugs, mussels and limpets whose shell resembles a Chinese hat!

P.S. Don’t forget to put back what you catch at the end of your day!

WITH THANKS TO VISIT CORNWALL FOR THIS BLOG.