Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Seashell ecology and identification, study and beach combing.

Ruth and I spent a very interesting day on a seashell ecology and identification day. It was organised by the Wildwood Trust and lead by Anne Riddell, a great knowledgeable and enthusiastic tutor.

We started off in the education centre at Wildwood where Anne talked about seashells, showed us slides and let us handle different shells.

We learnt about the development of shells from primeval times, from fossil remains to present day. How they reproduce and feed. I didn't realize how many shells were predators, attacking, killing and eating other shells.

We learnt how to identify the main groups of shells, lots of small differences.

We looked at the sort of habitats where shells live around Britain and then particularly in Thanet.
Finally we had an identification quiz. matching shells to their drawings. Which we did surprisingly well.

The real fun bit was going on to Kingsgate Bay with Anne and collecting shells from the beach.
Here Anne was a goldmine of information, telling us and other beach walkers about the shells and objects we were picking up on the beach.

It would be great to have Anne on hand for my beachcombing walks. I did though learn a lot more than I did and it will be good to use that in future.