Q&A – All You Need To Know About Rockpooling

No. 37 Explore the wonders of a rock pool 
Rockpooling is the No. 37 on National Trust’s list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.  

Rock Pool

What is “rock pool”?

Rock pool also known as Tide pool, is a place where the tide is low on the coast and full of rocks and sea water. When the tide is high in these places, seawater will flow into them, or even be submerged under the tide; When the tide goes out on a rocky seashore, pools of water are left behind in holes and treches in the rocks. These rock pools, are miniature habitats, home to a huge range of animals and plants. 

When’s the best time for rockpooling?

You can go rock pooling at any time of the year, but the best time is late spring to early autumn as this is when the weather is at its kindest. Our seas tend to be at their warmest in September and coldest in March.

It’s better to go rock pooling on a day when it’s dry and calm. This will keep the surface of a rock pool still, so it’s easier to see what’s below the water.

What do i expected to see in a rock pool?

As mentioned above, these rock pools are small ecosystems, home to plenty of plants and animals. You can find slimy fish, crabs, starfish, sea urchins, sea anemones, various seaweeds and shellfish, sea slogs, etc.

Rock Pool

Is it any dangerous when explore a rock pool?

Usually rock pool is relatively safe, but there are still some dangers, you need to pay attention when exploring the rock pool.

  • Some rock pools are very deep, the deepest may be more than 2 meters, which can easily submerge an adult. Since the sea water may be turbid, you cannot see the depth of the rock pool, so double check before you enter the water.
  • The spines of the fish can pierce your skin, which is how their venom is discharged – symptoms can include severe pain, vomiting, swelling, paralysis and even death. 
  • The shell of oysters is also very sharp and can easily cut the skin. It is recommended to bring a travel first aid kit with you.
  • Although not so common, there are occasionally dangerous creatures that appear on the beach, such as puffer fish, stingray, stone-fish, Cone Snail,  box jellyfish (highly poisonous), and blue ringed octopus. If you see any of them, please stay away.
    Pls refer “Dangerous creatures could be found on beaches”. 
  • Safety first, the most important point is to know the tide times for the beach you are visiting – you don’t want to be trapped.
    When the tide flood, you must hurry up and get out. Believe me, the speed of tide flood is faster than you can image. When you find that the seawater in your place is growing, it is high tide, don’t hesitate, get out to a safe place. A good idea is to set the alarm clock according to the tide time table.

What’s the equipment shall i bring with me for rockpooling?

First, you must wear shoes, not barefoot or slippers. Some rocks may be slippy, and rocks, barnacles, limpets and even the possibility of a crab nipping at the toes means that they are likely to be cut make sure that you feet is protected.

Then bring a small bucket, shovel, gloves, nets, etc. If you want to do some collection, such as catching crabs, gloves can protect your hands from being pinched or scratched. If you want to catch razor fish , you also need some salt. Other equipment that may be needed include a flashlight, hooks, pliers, first aid kit, and some spare clothes.

Where is the best place for rockpooling?

Of course, there should be a rocky beach or a beach with rock. There are many such kind of beaches on the British coastline. It is recognized that the better locations are concentrated in Cornwall, Wales and Devon. Scotland and the eastern coast of the UK also have some good places for rockpooling.

Pls refrer:
10 Best Rockpooling Beaches in Wales
10 Best Rockpooling Beaches in South Doven

How can I know the time of high tide and low tide?

You can install tide time tables app from APP store, there are some. Or you can visit BBC tide table page.

Now find a nice rock pool beach near you, to discover wonders of ocean life with your kids.