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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Seasearch at Northcott Mouth

Seasearch volunteers
Honeycomb Worm reef on SS Belem
I joined other local members of Cornwall Wildlife Trust Tamar Group, North Cornwall National Trust staff and Marine Biologists from Cornwall Wildlife Trust for a PANACHE Shoresearch survey  on Wednesday 16th July.

Celtic Sea Slug, Greenleaf Worm on
Honeycomb worm reed

Matt Slater, CWT Marine Awareness Officer led the group to identify and locate particular species whose presence will provide strong evidence in support of the proposed Hartland Point to Tintagel Marine Conservation Zone.

Some of the species were found and recorded and will help the case once full consultation begins. Of particular interest is the highly regarded, and protected, Honeycomb Worm reefs (Sabellaria alveolata) which is a feature of our local beaches.
Beadlet Anenome
Spiny Starfish
This part of the North Cornwall coast from around Widemouth to Hartland is the most northerly extent of its range and occurs where rocky outcrops and lots of sand meet. The reefs provide safe homes for the delightful Celtic Sea Slug and Greenleaf Worms. An unusual site for Honeycomb worm was on the remains of the SS Belem.

Other species seen and noted were – Spiny Starfish, Strawberry Anenome, Snakelocks Beadlet Anenome, Purple and Toothed Topshells and Shore Crab.

A flock of 25 Oystercatchers performed aerial maneouvres as we encroached on their feeding territory and wheeled away to the south.

Flock of Oystercatchers 
A good afternoon out on the beach with a real purpose, to gain protection for this unique habitat with great diversity.

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