Author Nikki Hills
Making Waves Project Officer
It was only three days since my last visit to Ovingdean beach but in that time the stormy sea had thrown up all kinds of new treasures along the shoreline just waiting to be discovered.
It was a beautiful sunny day and the sky was blue but the waves were dark and crashing up onto the beach. As the tide turned that morning the strandline was revealed. The strandline forms along the high tide mark at the top of the beach. Natural and man-made objects are deposited by the sea and left behind as the tide goes out. You can often see the strandline as a line of seaweed along the beach.
After a few minutes of wandering along the beach it was clear that this strandline was so much more than just seaweed. There were all sorts of beach treasures to be found. Some instantly recognisable but others presented quite a challenge in trying to work out what they were and where they might have come from. Our finds that day included the egg cases of a small spotted catshark and thornback ray, a common whelk shell and a five-bearded rockling to name but a few. These strandline discoveries can give us an insight into what’s living beneath the waves and turn a relaxing Sunday stroll along the beach into an exciting adventure of discovery.
Have a look at what’s been washing up along our coast and share your own beach finds on our new Beach Treasures Gallery.
Making Waves is our marine education and awareness project, which is spreading the word about the wonderful marine life found around our coast and the importance of protecting it. This project is run in partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.