Welcome to Cornish Rock Pools

Thinking of going rock pooling in Cornwall? You’ve come to the right place.

Read on to find out where and how to rock pool, what you might find, my latest tips and discoveries and groups to join if you want to learn more.

There’s something about rock pooling. It’s a window on the underwater world. It’s the freedom of wandering between the blue sky and sparkling sea, never knowing what you will find. It’s a joy every child should experience, and that every adult should rediscover.

Heather Buttivant – Creator of Cornish Rock Pools

A spiny starfish
A spiny starfish

Found in the rock pools this week…

Once a year, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Shoresearch project run a whole week of surveys to gather data about our intertidal wildlife and inspire more people to record their finds.

I joined the surveys at Fowey and Looe and was delighted to find this gorgeous little Asterina phylactica starfish at Readymoney in Fowey.

They’re rarely seen as they’re small enough to fit on your fingernail and live hidden among coral weed. This one has the classic pattern of pale and orange dots, forming a rough star shape in the middle.

As you can see these dots are actually little pincer-like spines on the starfish’s back (called pedicellariae) which the animal uses to clean itself and stop algae and other organisms growing on it.

Asterina phylactica starfish at Readymoney, Fowey
Asterina phylactica starfish at Readymoney, Fowey


I’m delighted that Cornish Rock Pools has twice been named ‘Blogger of the Week’ in 2016 and 2017 by the BBC Wildlife Magazine. My first award was for my report on finding and photographing these gorgeous Scarlet and gold cup corals. Read more here.

Scarlet and gold cup coral in a Cornish rock pool
Scarlet and gold cup coral in a Cornish rock pool


Please do let me know if you find anything interesting or unusual. Happy rockpooling!


For everyone who loves Cornwall's rock pools. Information about great beaches, marine wildlife and conservation.