We have been making the most of the last sunny weather of Autumn with some more beach trips, two different sorts of beaches, to give the children different experiences and hopefully an entrance to study other coast based educational subjects. First we went to the east coast of Norfolk where the beach was sandy with a few dunes and lots of pebbles, but no rock pools and no cliffs.
Usually the children spend their time looking to see what the tide has washed up and then they insist on having some rides and visiting the local reptile centre or the sea life centre. This year we visited both of these places, there were hardly any people in the sea life centre at all so we were able to spend a long time watching the sea creatures and getting extra insights into the creatures behaviour from the staff. The children enjoyed playing finger tag with a penguin and had a very close encounter with a ray when it popped up over the top of the tank and nearly kissed them!
The other beach we visited was on the north Norfolk coast and this was a very different experience, we went to West Runton the place where the fossil of the elephant was found. This beach had cliffs and rock pools, when the tide went out a chalky foreshore was exposed which was full of fossils, of course this was very interesting to my son who loves fossil hunting.
The photograph above was taken just after the tide started to go out and rock pooling commenced with much enthusiasm, we found fish, winkles and other sea snails, anemones, limpets and many different types of crab. Our favourite were the little hermit crabs we nearly passed over thinking they were snails, my son also had lots of prawns tickling his feet like they were cleaning them which caused much amusement.
Seeing the differences first hand like this allows the children better insights when we discuss coastal geology and erosion but most of all we'll remember the wonderful times we had at the beach especially the rock pooling day.