by Adrian Brokenshire 

Seven members of the public turned up in Lyme Regis, Dorset, for the event at Broad Ledge on the receding neap tide. The low water was at 14.30.  (to include date, 1995)

Broad Ledge is the area below Church Cliff just east of the Lyme Regis coastal defence scheme sea wall. Dipping shale and limestone ledges make up the lower shore, some sands and silts cover the ledges and the larger pools are often silty. Rolled boulders are also to be found scattered over the ledges and in the pools; the area is exposed and not very weedy. The best method of finding anything interesting is to turn over the boulders, being careful to return them to their original positions.


Numerous molluscs were found including the Common Limpet Patella vulgata, the Purple Topshell Gibbula umbilicalis, the West Country speciality Thick or Heavy Topshells Monodonta lineata, Dogwhelks NucelLapillus, including some of their distinctive egg clusters, the Sting Winkle Ocenebra erinacea, the Thick-lipped Netted Dogwhelk Hinia incrassata (=Nassarius), and the European Cowrie Trivia monacha under stones. A single Grey Sea-slug Aeolidia papillosa was also found under a large boulder. The Common PiddockPholas dactylus was common boring into the soft shale ledges. An indeterminate Carpet Shell Venerupis sp. was also found making use of a vacated piddock hole.

A single Milky Ark Shell, Striarca lactea, was an unexpected find for this area.

Worms and Crustaceans

Numerous worms were noted include ragworms and keelworms on pebbles and dead shells, the Sand Mason Lanice conchilega, the  worm Owenia fusiformis in the silty pools, and the small coiled Spirorbis borealis on the Saw Wrack Fucus serratus. Scale worms Hermione hystrix were noted on the underside of boulders on the lower shore.

   Galathea squamifera

 Crustaceans were numerous. A Shore Crab, Carcinus maenas, hosted the parasitic barnacle Sacculina carcini, but there were many of these crabs not infected, as well as Edible Crabs Cancer pagurus, Velvet Swimming Crabs Necora puber (=Liocarcinus), Hairy Crabs Pilumnus hirtellus, Broad-clawed Porcelain Crab Porcellana platycheles, and Squat Lobsters Galathea sp. not identified to species level.

Echinoderms to Fish

Sea urchins and brittlestars seemed to be lacking on this trip. We found a single Shore (Green or Purple-tipped) Urchin Psammechinus miliaris when we normally expect to find more.

 The beautiful Star Ascidian Botryllus schlosseri were numerous on the underside of boulders where the European Cowries were also to be discovered.

 A Worm Pipefish, Nerophis lumbriciformis was found in a weedy pool. This, along with a small Edible Crab, a small Velvet Swimming Crab, a Shore Urchin, two Hairy Crabs, and a couple of small Blennies, Lipophrys pholis, were transferred to the new marine display tank at the Charmouth Heritage Coast centre and are faring well.

East Beach Rockpooling, Lyme Regis

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Articles are wanted on all aspects of marine wildlife, ecology, observations in the wild from divers and rockpoolers, aquarium study, seabirds, seashore rambles, visits to public aquaria and general experiences. A Guide to Submissions is available on request. Please write to Glaucus House. The full address is on page 2.

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