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Somerset seas lowest tide in 200 years

Over the weekend of March 21st  and 22nd Somerset will experience the lowest tides it has seen in 200-years. These super low tides provide a once in a life-time chance to see some of Somerset’s most hidden wildlife and learn more about what lies beneath the water.

With that in mind  m Somerset Wildlife Trust have organised two special events:

Lowest tide in 200-years special event: Saturday March 21, 11am at Minehead. Meet at eastern end of seafront esplanade.

Lowest tide in 200-years special event: Sunday March 22, 12noon at Watchet. Meet at Market Street car park to explore West Beach.

(All events are free but please book in advance education@somersetwildlife.org or 01823 652400 or visit somersetwildlife.org/curious). Information gathered by members of the public, during the rock pool rambles, will contribute to wildlife records already collected by Somerset Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers through intertidal, seashore, marine  mammal and birdlife surveys.  As well as the public events the Somerset Environmental Records Centre will be carrying out detailed scientific surveys along sections of the Minehead to Dunster coastline.

These super low tides offer a unique opportunity. Marine species that are usually out of our reach, and living below the average low tide line, will be exposed to human eyes for the first time in two centuries. Common and bloody henry starfish, the common sunstar, pipefish (which are closely related to seahorses,) cuttlefish and squid are amongst the weird and wonderful sounding creatures that may be seen.

As well as the wildlife on offer it’s also a great chance to unearth Somerset’s social and geological history including ancient fishing techniques and underwater forests. At Minehead the super low tides will reveal the remains of a submerged forest from 10,000 years ago. Also likely to be left behind by the retreating waters  is a complex network of historical fish weirs (or traps), that had been used for at least 1,000 years, to catch fish.

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