In December 2017, CoCoast southwest ran 3 Christmas BioBlitz events in Devon and Cornwall to explore the marine life living in different sites that have been infrequently studied during the project.
The main aim of these events was to gather a snapshot of the species living in each of these rocky shores, collect data to add to our final datasets and finally… to explore and have fun!
MOUNT EDGCUMBE, CORNWALL
Mount Edgcumbe is a stunning location, home to the National Trust's beautiful Mount Edgcumbe House and Gardens that sits on the Cornish coastline fringing Plymouth Sound.
We were eager to survey this site to explore what the rocky shore here might be hiding... and we were not disappointed!
Volunteers found a vast number of invasive Pacific Oysters, a single Wakame frond and various other interesting critters including emerald worms, crabs galore and even an eel sat in a rock pool! A fantastic day with a great number of surveys conducted to add to the CoCoast dataset and finished off with a hot drink in the Mount Edgcumbe Arms when it all got a bit chilly in the brisk wintery winds!
FIRESTONE BAY (DEVIL'S POINT), PLYMOUTH
Firestone Bay is a stone's throw away from Mount Edgcumbe, sat on the opposite side of the Tamar estuary and on the western tip of Plymouth Hoe.
This was an interesting site as it was almost entirely different to the previous day, with far more silt covering the low shore and a great number of overhangs and boulders just waiting to be explored!
Great fun was had by all who attended this BioBlitz day, with many interesting finds such as sea squirts, bryozoan mats, the invasive Asian Shore Crab, cushion stars and there were gorgeously coloured painted topshells absolutely everywhere!
TREVELLAS COVE, NORTH CORNWALL
We couldn't have chosen a wilder day to visit the North coast of Cornwall in gusts of 20-35 mph!
We were however spoilt by local rocky shore expert David who very quickly found a Stalked Jellyfish (Haliclystus octoradiatus) that just so happened to be my very first ever seen!
This shore was very unusual, as the high shore extended right out to the edge of the bay, with many rockpools hiding lots of strawberry anemones and jellyfish. We also completed field training for many of our new volunteers, and worked on barnacle identification skills... a fantastic day!
CHRISTMAS BIOBLITZ REPORT
This has just been completed (January 2018) and emailed out to volunteers. If you are interested to read a copy of the report, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again to everyone that joined us for these BioBlitz events... they were hugely successful and we're grateful to everyone who collected data and has already uploaded it!