Immerse yourself in the beachcombing experience; the wind in your face, the smell of salt spray, the roar of the ocean; it’s an assault on the senses, the perfect tonic. From time immemorial people have been drawn to the beach to collect practical resources as well as mysterious objects that have fuelled myth and folklore – it is our inherent hunter-gatherer instinct.
The beach strandline is also a wildlife habitat, home to a unique community of plants and animals, many found nowhere else. They create a rich and ever-changing oasis of life in the otherwise harsh environment of the beach.
Whether you are a seasoned beachcomber, a casual visitor or an enthusiastic naturalist, this book is for you. It will satisfy your curiosity about each treasure found cast up on the beach, be it a pretty seashell or an exotic ocean voyager.
• Descriptions of common and rare beach finds, both natural and man-made
• Clear photographs showing objects and species as found on the strandline and in their natural habitat
• Suggestions for family activities related to beachcombing
• A comprehensive account of the living flora and fauna of the beach strandline
• Information on threats and conservation measures for the marine and coastal environment
Steve Trewhella is a diver and photographer specialising in British marine life above and below the waves. He is a keen naturalist and when not diving enjoys beachcombing, rockpooling and recording strandline and coastal invertebrates. His beachcombing finds include new species records for the UK and new information about the distribution of wildlife endemic to strandlines. His images are used in publications all over the world and he has worked as a contributor on many natural history television features. His work can be viewed at www.ukcoastalwildlife.co.uk
Julie Hatcher is a marine biologist working in marine conservation in Dorset. Her work involves raising awareness of the marine environment and marine and coastal wildlife in the UK, and she has written many articles for newspapers and magazines, as well as designing interpretation panels, posters and leaflets. She also leads guided rockpool rambles and seashore identification training courses, and has been a scuba diver for many years, mostly in the UK.
Steve and Julie met in 2004 since when they have jointly organised projects to record Pink Sea Fan skeletons, long-haul litter and strandline invertebrates as well as carrying out dive surveys for seahorses and stalked jellyfish. Their combined knowledge and interest in beachcombing has developed over many years, fuelled by inspirational characters along the way. A desire to share their understanding of this fascinating activity has led to this book.
"Whether you just wish to know what lives on or frequents beaches. identify the remains of organisms washed up, or delve deeper into the origins of marine litter and the life that may be found associated with it, there is something for you inside. A book for enthusiasts of all ages and experience."—Andrew Mackie, Natur Cymru
"The guide combines the attributes of a concise yet comprehensive treatment of beachcombing and strandlines. A stellar feature of the book is the profusion of excellent photographs which accompany descriptions of the common and rare beach finds, natural and man-made."—Jan Light, Mollusc World, Conchological Society
"This really is essential for those of us who visit the beach regularly. It is very well laid out, informative, quirky"—Steve Lowe, Northumberland Wildlife Trust
"The coast is a fascinating place, made all the more interesting by the insights gained from [this] great book[s]."—Andy Karran, Gwent Wildlife Trust