Found on the Beach

Found on the Beach

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.

The small area of stranded seaweed where we beachcombed
The small area of stranded seaweed where we beachcombed

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.

Man made and natural things found on the beach
Man made and natural things found on the beach

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.

Sanitary waste becomes a new home for seaweed
Sanitary waste becomes a new home for seaweed

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 –

One shoe found on the beach!
It’s always just only one shoe that’s found on the beach!

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.

Mermaid's Purse, Razor Shell and fish skeleton
Mermaid’s Purse, Razor Shell and 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.

Skeleton of a flat fish
Skeleton of a flat fish

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.

Mermaid's Purse
Mermaid’s Purse

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.

Crab found on the beach
Crab found on the beach
Masked Crab found on the beach
Masked Crab found on the beach

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.

We think this is a clam?
We think this is a naked razor clam!


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.

Seaweed washed to shore
Seaweed washed to shore
Seaweed washed to shore
Seaweed washed to shore

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.

See a lot more beach and strandline finds here

Have you got anything to include? Just email your finds to – full credit will be given – of course.

While you’re here…

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What do you think? Leave a comment below

  1. Avatar

    say loving Blackpool not enough, must make something to Blackpool. Royal Visit by His Highness Prince William and Her Highness the Duchess was really a starting point to see great change in Blackpool. My hope is to see that Blackpool is the only city, not only in UK or in Europe but worldwide, absolutely free from Cigarette Butts on public floors/ground by year 2020. So Keep Blackpool Tidy, Towards Keep Britain Tidy.

  2. Avatar

    Hi There,

    I saw all the plastic you had collected from the beaches
    My husband and myself take an evening stroll most nights and we collect plastic – cans – bottles – fishing line etc etc and any rubbish that could end up in our oceans !
    We feel we have to do something we need more people just to take a bag out with them each walk and help ! We live near The Gynn Slipway and collect all around that area and then post it on my Facebook a picture or a video of what we have collected and disposed of !

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