11th October 2019
Your Beach Retreats guide to all there is to know about rockpooling in Cornwall.
You can rockpool all year round in Cornwall. Wrap up in winter and pick a sheltered shore, or visit in summer when marine life is flourishing.
Watergate Bay, Porth and Whipsiderry, Newtrain Bay near Trevone and Trevaunance Cove in St Agnes are all great spots for rockpooling, but any beach with a rocky shoreline is good. Our harbours are also brilliant for crabbing.
The best rockpooling happens on calm, sunny days at low tide when parts of the shore normally covered in water are exposed. Plan your visit by checking a local tide table online and move inland as the tide pushes in.
Many people think you need a net to go rockpooling, but you don’t. One of the best ways to enjoy the shore is to peer into a rockpool and wait. With patience you’ll be treated to a natural display of the fascinating and tough creatures that live here. If you do use a bucket be careful not to overcrowd it with creatures. They can overheat and run out of oxygen.
Look for a shore with small rocks covered in seaweed and start by investigating underneath the water’s surface. Lift the rocks carefully and you may find crabs, cushion starfish and even snake pipefish and Cornish sucker fish.
Take care when picking up crabs! If you do want to handle one, use your index finger and hold it down by pressing onto the center of its shell – you’ll have plenty of time to get your fingers around the sides behind the claws. Grip it firmly. You’re less likely to get pinched holding a crab like this. Don’t be tempted to pick up a crab by putting one finger underneath.
Once you have understood all the above, you’re ready to begin your rockpooling checklist. Here are 10 creatures to look out for.