It’s fascinating what you can find on our lovely Fylde Coast beaches. There are lots of books and online identification guides which can help you to work out what it is. Here are some of the things that we’ve found on the beach – you might have found them too.
One Sunny Monday Morning in April
What a glorious day and a lovely morning for beachcombing. It’s also just a few days after one of the named storms, Storm Hannah of April 2019. Even though it’s flat calm now, the storm has churned up the seabed and brought lots of treasures to shore.
If you like beachcombing, look for patches of seaweed and shells and twigs. Their mass creates something for plants and animals to snag on, then they all get dropped in a tangle at the edge of the tide.
What we Found on the Beach
See what we found in about half an hour, in this small patch of stranded seaweed. The tide was just on its way out so everything was freshly exposed.
This is most of the haul of trash and treasures, plus a couple of tiny crabs which were still alive and went back into the sea to swim another day!
From left to right is a piece of Duck tape, various sanitary liners, a square wipe and cotton bud sticks, oh and a hair band.
What’s interesting is that the textured surface of these items had all been colonised by plants. Small seaweeds were growing into the fibres of each one, even the duck tape. This is why you should only flush the three p’s – pee, poo and paper.
There’s a full set of plastic cutlery, an ice cream spoon and a chip fork. Plus three previously used (and cut) cable ties. At a guess I’d say from a fishing boat.
The small blue circle was today’s star find – it’s the plastic top off a Smartie tube! Plastic Smartie lids went out of production in 2005 – so this lid has been lost at sea (or somewhere) for at least 14 years!
Single use plastics are a pain. They use precious resources and can easily end up as marine litter. Or in landfill. Could you think twice before you use or buy them?
Oh and one sock. Why is there always just one sock – or shoe? Actually, here’s the shoe, found today to go with the sock –
Natural Things Found on the Beach
The rough tide of a storm brings up lots of different types of seaweed that aren’t generally found every day on the strandline. Plus various interesting things that should be found on a beach (unlike the plastics).
From left to right in the next photo are two mermaid’s purse, a razor shell and the cartilage of a fish skeleton.
Have you ever found one of these strange fish skulls on the beach? This one had come straight out of the sea and so the cartilage was still pliable and flexible. After they’ve dried out in the sun they turn considerably more rigid. Strange things, it’s easy to mistake them for plastic, which of course they’re not.
It might sound like something out of a fairytale but this is a mermaid’s purse. And what does a mermaid keep in her purse? A baby fish!
They’re actually the egg cases of sharks, rays and skates. The embryonic fish develops inside and then eats it’s way out to hatch. You can see where the fish has come out of this one. The coiled tendrils attach it to seaweed or something solid. Find out much more about mermaids purses here.
Things that Live in Shells
You’ll often find crabs on the beach – in various states! This morning we picked two up that were still alive and put them back in the sea. Others were quite dead but still intact. Quite often you’ll find the skeletons sat on the sand, where birds and other animals have had them for dinner and left the shells behind.
Minus the shell, but the Visit Cleveleys Facebook community think that this next weird thing is the animal that lives in a Razor clam shell. It looked like a string of slime, with the consistency of jelly.
There are lots of different types of seaweeds, they live in different places and grow in different ways in the marine environment. You’ll usually see the black stuff with the air bubbles along the length of the strands laid on the beach. The weather had washed some different specimens up that you don’t see quite so often.
There’s Much More to See…
This varied collection is the result of just one patch of beach on one morning. Here at Visit Fylde Coast we’ve got a big collection of photos things that we’ve found on the beach over the years. They range from the normal stuff you find every day to the weird and wonderful.
Have you got anything to include? Just email your finds to jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk – full credit will be given – of course.
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