Explore our seashores with expert book

Getting out and about along the coast and finding starfish and crabs is a staple ingredient of British seaside life for many and now an expert book is on hand to point people in the right direction.

Seashore Safaris, a book written by Swansea Council worker Judith Oakley, is a photographic guide that highlights some of the tiny animals you can find on the beach if you look in the right places on a rocky or a sandy shore.

Judith, a consultant marine biologist who specialises in marine education and outreach projects, regularly organises public seashore safaris and talks and presentations about her findings.

She’s worked at Swansea Council as a Marine Biodiversity Officer for a year and a half and grew up discovering the seashores with her parents and brothers.

Judith said: “Rocky shores such as those along the Gower coast provide unique mini habitats in the form of rock pools, overhangs, crevices, surge gullies, boulders and seaweeds where an extraordinary array of creatures can be found.

“The colourful book is full of advice on where to look for these creatures and will be great for families and adults.

“It takes you through what you need to get started and shows the types of habitats, animal life and seaweeds you can encounter along the British coast. It also shows you exactly what to look for, how to record your findings and how you can help marine conservation.”

Judith has photographed seashore animals in their natural habitat for six years and has collected information for an education exhibition called Rockpool Revelations which has toured Wales.

Judith said: “I’m delighted with the end product and I hope that people spend many happy hours exploring the shoreline with its help.

“For me the book also sends out a serious message about the importance of protecting this delicate ecosystem and following the Seashore Code.”

The book is available at the local Waterstones book shop and at Cover to Cover in Mumbles. You can also contact Judith direct to pick up your signed copy. Email her on judith.oakley@swansea.gov.uk or give her a call on 01792 635077.