I spent the last part of the half term up in Suffolk with my parents and the kids. The coastline in Suffolk is truly lovely and very unspoilt still as roads travel up to small villages and towns instead of along the coastline (which usually means lots of unchecked development).
I visit the beach a lot with my kids in Suffolk so we decided to try something a little different for the start of our 30 Days Wild challenge; beachcombing on Felixstowe beach. My eldest son (five) loves nothing more than ferreting around for odds and sods. I’m always turning out pockets filled with the flotsam and jetsam of natural life so I thought beachcombing would be right up his street.
Kate Osborne, a jolly and extremely knowledgeable lady runs Beach Bonkers, which takes groups out along various parts of the Suffolk coastline to look for treasures of the sea. We met at a beach hut where she gave us a run down of the types of things we might find (different rock types, fossils, shells, shark’s teeth, seaweed, bombs! (very rare), plastic (unfortunately not so rare), then we found a patch of shingly beach and started hunting about.
First we concentrated on the larger rocks, picking up stones and shells we thought were interesting, and Kate would give us some background on what the rock was. We found granite, quartz and flint, limpet, whelk and oyster shells plus an 80 million year old sea sponge, all within a couple of metres. Kate told us all sorts of interesting snippets of information along the way. For example, did you know that whelks vomit into limpets and then eat them up. Grim but fascinating!
Then we moved onto an area with small stones to hunt for shark’s teeth. I was so chuffed that my boy found the one and only shark’s tooth! If you want to look for them, they are not white as you would think, but black and very glossy.
We finished with Kate showing us a fantastic woolly mammoth’s tooth fossil she found on a beach close by. My eldest was in heaven. Beachcombing was a hit.