Our Seashore Safari 18 Mar 2014

IMG_0212What an exciting day we had yesterday on our seashore safari at the Helford Passage. The whole day was full of awe and wonder as children explored the marine environment looking for seashore vertebrates and invertebrates.

We were very lucky to have some expert help at hand. Amira’s dad, Timor Jolly,  was full of knowledge about the Helford River habitat and helped us to identify wierd and wonderful creatures such as a nudibranch! Staff and first year students from the Falmouthy Marine School were also on hand to answer questions and identify creatures. Children and adults alike all learned something new about this fascinating, rich and divberse local habitat.

The highlight of the morning had to be hunting for razor clams. Under the guidance of the students from the Marine School, children looked for the tell-tale holes the razor clams leave behind as they retreat into the holes at low tide. Pouring salt into the hole fooled the clams into thinking the tide had come in and they popped out of their holes. Have a look at the video to see this strange spectacle.

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At luch, Mr Wild cooked some mussels on the beach with garlic and cream. Amazingly, more than half of the children tried them and enjoyed them and many came back for more!

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After lunch we had a scavenger hunt. We looked for things on the beach, such as different types of shell and seaweed and displayed our treasures in circles of stones. Amazingly, Katie discovered that when salt is poured into a tubeworm hole in a rock pool, the tube worm comes out and waved its magnificent fan around.

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Sadly, at 2:15 it was time to head off back to school after an exciting day. I think Ethan’s comment summed up the whole day: “This is the best day in school EVER!”

Thank you so much to all the parents who drove and looked after children on the day. We could not have done it without you and your time contributed to such a rich day of learning for our children.

Here is a list of some of the animals we identified: mussles, whelks, scallops, cockles, barnacles, razor clams, native oysters, winkles, topshells, periwinkles, limpets, slipper limplets, eels, shannies, cushion stars, brittlestars, starfish, shore crabs, hermit crabs, sponges, chitons, anenomes, sea slugs, nudibranches, tubeworms, keelworm, fanworms…