Pond Dipping and rock pooling

Pond Dipping and rock pooling

Have you heard about the RSPB wild challenge? Sometimes it is helpful to have some extra ideas for things to do outdoors. If you are struggling for some ideas then pop over and give the wild challenge a go. The children (and us adults) are really enjoying working through the list of activities.

We have already built a bug hotel and hedgehog cafe so next on the challenge list we thought we would do rock pooling and pool dipping. Both activities are really fun and easy to do, it costs nothing more than a net and a bucket. You can get guides to take with you to help guide you on what you are finding or just take the nets and guess what the creatures are that you find.

We are lucky to have so many beautiful rivers and ponds on the doorstep but if you don’t have any ponds then have a go at making one with a plastic box, a few stones, and put some plants in and see what creatures you attract.

Personally I am not one for lying on the beach, I much prefer to be in the rock pools and I think my children have inherited this love of rock pooling from me.

The seas around the UK can uncover some of the most wonderful wildlife. When the waves retreat and the tide is low you can get a glimpse of lots of weird and wonderful wildlife that inhabit it. The ponds in the UK can have a whole different world of creatures to discover too.

Rockpooling is a fantastic activity that people of all ages can enjoy. Leaning over the small pools of water that form on the rocky shoreline, you can find a huge range of creatures that you might otherwise never know were there.

Crabs, shrimps, anemones, limpets, snails and starfish can all commonly be seen in rockpools around the coast. My son loved the limpets and with a careful swift twist they can be pulled off the rocks but of course placed straight back afterward.

Pond skaters, dragonflies, newts, frogs, sticklebacks can be found in ponds, take pictures or make notes on any creatures found and if you are not sure what they are do some research with children when you get back home. You can take a microscope with you to get a better look but we prefer to travel light!

The best places to find interesting creatures are fairly sheltered rocky shores, on shingle or sandy beaches. You could also search around boulders, piers and pontoons which often contain interesting nooks and crannies for wildlife to hide in.

Wherever you decide to go rockpooling or pond dipping please remember to leave no trace of your visit and any rocks or creatures should always be left where you find them.


The Helpful Hiker

9 thoughts on “Pond Dipping and rock pooling

  1. Oh we love rock pooling too, a really fun and educational way to spend time on the beach. We were told a little tip about getting the best from rock pooling – you see so much more when you do it at night! We tried it out and it worked a dream, definitely go somewhere safe but it’s well worth the early / late start.

  2. LOVE a bit of rock pooling!
    I’m like you, in that I can’t just lay on a beach all day (there is only so much people watching you can do). Apart from anything its a great way to learn new things I have a brilliant set of RSPB books that include fungi, seashore, trees, wild flowers, insects and butterflies. They are really well used in our house, a great set of books to refer to after a day outdoors.

    Lovely post xx

  3. The RSBP wild challenges are brilliant, we recently discovered them and realised we’d already done quite a few. Our recent pond dipping wasn’t very successful but we had fun trying and we’ll go again. You look like you had great fun, your son looks proud of his catch. #AdventureCalling

    1. We are slightly obsessed with the wild challenge! It’s a shame more people don’t know about it. So many fabulous suggestions for days out 🙂

  4. My husband and kids have always loved rock pooling, but it wasn’t until I went along to my son’s rock pooling school trip last June that I realised how fantastic it is. We were guided by a qualified marine biologist, who also happens to be our neighbour, and it was a memorable outing for all. Can’t wait to do it all again!

    1. Now that’s an impressive way to experience rock pooling. My son would love to spend time with a marine biologist, what a fabulous experience!

  5. Our two absolutely love rock pooling and pond dipping. They love discovering little critters anywhere in fact. It looks like you had a great day and good effort creating your own big house and hedgehog hotel too. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling I hope you can join us again tonight when it opens again.

  6. I will have to have a look at the RSPB wild challenges, I bet Finn would love them. He loved the beach this summer and still talks about the rock pools. We will definitely have to try pond dipping too. Thanks for linking up with #AdventureCalling

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.