In the lead up to the release of The Beach Book, authors of the acclaimed Going Wild Books Fiona and Jo share some of what their newest publication has to offer and their guide to super beach activities!
Rock Pooling Discover the miniature wildlife worlds of trapped rock pools that are revealed at every low tide with these tips. The most interesting rock pools are on quiet, rocky beaches at the lowest tide.
- Creep up quietly to a pool. Sit down and watch without casting a shadow over the water.
- Look out for little fish, darting shrimps, scuttling crabs, starfish, sea anemones with waving tentacles and hermit crabs hiding in shells.
- To take a closer look push seaweed aside with a stick or catch some creatures gently in a net.
- Tempt animals out of their hiding places by placing a crushed limpet in the pool.
- Look underneath loose stones to find little crabs and other creatures.
- Look at the creatures in a clear plastic container of seawater before returning them to the pool.
- Watch out for tides and for sharp and slippery rocks
- Always leave rock pools and stones as you found the
- You will need a dark coloured plastic bottle, or a clear one decorated with acrylic paint.
- Cut off the bottom of the bottle to make a tube, covering the sharp edge with insulation tape.
- Stretch cling film over the bottom of the tube, fixing it in place with an elastic band to make a smooth viewing surface.
- Place the viewer’s base just under the water’s surface, and spy on the underwater world.
- Open one end of the net and weave a bendy stick through the holes around the edge.
- Tie on to the stick in several places to make secure.
- Attach the end of the loop onto the rest of the stick as shown.
- If you can’t find a bendy stick, weave the net onto a forked stick.
- For a perfect bucket, use a cut-off plastic bottle to store your catch.
Safety tip: Be careful when exploring rock pools. Don’t lean too far over the water when using a rock pool viewer.Made-up Games The challenge is to invent new games using whatever you find on the beach; here are a couple of ideas: Beach Barts A cross between boules and darts!
- Make a target by drawing concentric rings on a flat area of damp sand.
- Number each ring, with the highest number in the middle.
- Each person should find three stones, the rounder the better.
- Mark a spot to stand, about 2m/6ft from the outer ring.
- Take it in turns to throw your stones into the target. Who can get the highest score?
- Pour dry sand into the toe of a sock to make a ball about the size of a tennis ball.
- Twist the sock round tightly and then turn it over on itself and twist again.
- Find some big feathers and push the quills into the loose end of the sock.
- Secure with string or an elastic band. Throw it around for a fun game at the beach.
- Safety tip: Always take great care when throwing stones
- Pour a little dry sand into bottles, juice cartons or plastic pots left from a picnic.
- How many of these rubbish skittles can you knock down with one ball?
- Using charcoal from a fire we drew funny characters on driftwood planks.
- We stood them in a row and threw stones at them to see who could knock down the most skittles.
- Perhaps you could transform your driftwood skittles into cartoons of your family or favourite characters from books or films.
- Make several stone towers in a group.
- Take it in turns to knock them down by throwing stones at them.
Safety Tip: Always take great care when throwing stones.
We hope you have a magnificent day of family fun, Fiona & Jo!
(The Beach Book by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield is published by Frances Lincoln (£9.99)