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. Whether you are a seasoned beachcomber, a casual visitor or an enthusiastic naturalist this book will satisfy your curiosity about the treasures found cast up on the beach strandline, be it a pretty seashell, a spent eggcase, a seaweed frond or an exotic ocean voyager.
Every find has a story to tell and we aim to answer the questions that arise from each beachcombing discovery – what is it and where has it come from? Clear photographs and descriptions are accompanied by information about the natural history of the animals and plants you encounter. Even man-made debris can offer a fascinating introduction to the workings of the ocean and illustrate how items discarded in Africa or America can wash ashore on a British beach. The beach strandline is often overlooked as a wildlife habitat but is home to a unique community of flora and fauna, many found nowhere else. It is understudied and under threat, facing a variety of man-made problems.
The Essential Guide to Beachcombing and the Strandline provides a comprehensive account of the animals and plants that make up this rich and ever-changing oasis of life in the otherwise harsh environment of the beach. The more we understand the delicate nature of the strandline the more we can do to nurture and protect it. But beware – beachcombing can be an addictive pleasure! Make sure you pack this book every time you visit the beach – there is always something new to discover, whether on a nocturnal strandline safari, making seaweed whistles or hunting minibeasts with pots and pooters. 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 – and this book is your essential guide.