All posts by Heather Buttivant

Random Rockpooling and a Sad Sight

“Let’s go rockpooling.” It’s a familiar cry in our house, but for once it’s not me saying it.

It’s a luxury to live within walking distance of the beach; a luxury I pined for when I moved away from Cornwall for work in my twenties.

Now I’m back and any time the tide is low I can wander down to the shore and rummage in the kelp and pools. Often, though, life gets in the way. Even when conditions are perfect, there are jobs to be done, people to see, deadlines to meet and the rest of the family to consider. They enjoy rockpooling, but I sometimes suspect they maybe don’t love it to the same extent I do. Continue reading Random Rockpooling and a Sad Sight

Boiling Seas and Shipwrecked Sailors

There’s no mistaking a change in our rock pools this week. There’s a new chill in the Cornish sea breeze. The shrill cries of swallows swooping over the water and children jumping the waves will soon fall silent as the days shorten and the autumn gales brew. The seas, however, are bursting with life.

Stranded fish
A fish stranded in a Cornish rock pool

Continue reading Boiling Seas and Shipwrecked Sailors

Where have all the Common starfish gone?

Sometimes it’s what you don’t see.

Common starfish
Common starfish

It’s been a great summer for finding starfish. All season I’ve been taking snaps of giant spiny starfish and watching brittle stars walk across the sea bed. I’ve placed cushion stars into eager palms, enjoying the giggles as children feel tickly tentacle-feet for the first time. Continue reading Where have all the Common starfish gone?

The Selfish Shellfish – The story of a Cornish Rock Pool

It feels like we’re living out a scene from the children’s picture book about a Cornish rock pool, The Selfish Shellfish.

Grandma Paint Pot at Castle Beach
Grandma Paint Pot at Castle Beach

 I’m with the author, Grandma Paint Pot (Donna Painter), on Castle Beach in Falmouth, where her story is set. The tide is rising fast and we’re slithering about on a wet rock while we watch limpets, top shells and anemones coming to life as the waves push in. Continue reading The Selfish Shellfish – The story of a Cornish Rock Pool

UK rarity, the Crystal Jellyfish turns up in Cornwall

Check out these amazing photos of the rare Crystal Jellyfish (Aequoria sp.) taken by Claire Lewis of Cornwall Wildlife Trust in a rock pool on Looe Island.

Crystal jellyfish in a rock pool at Looe Island, Cornwall
Crystal Jellyfish, Photo by Claire Lewis. Looe Island.

Crystal Jellyfish are common in the northern Pacific Ocean but are rare in UK waters. Continue reading UK rarity, the Crystal Jellyfish turns up in Cornwall

‘The best day of my life.’ – Rockpooling with Cornwall Home Educators

It’s amazing to watch the rock pools appear. Just an hour ago, as we ate our picnic on Hannafore beach, two ladies were swimming just a hundred metres away. Now the tide has slipped back to reveal the dark, alluring rocks. An egret flies down to stalk the distant pools and oystercatchers follow, trilling loudly.

Hannafore Beach with Looe Island Nature Reserve in the background.
Hannafore Beach with Looe Island Nature Reserve in the background.

‘I want to go rockpooling. Now. Now,’ a little boy pleads, dragging on my arm. Tide and time can never move fast enough when you’re five. Continue reading ‘The best day of my life.’ – Rockpooling with Cornwall Home Educators